Tomatoes are among the stars of the vegetable garden and even novice gardeners can grow them as many varieties are undemanding, including heirloom tomatoes. But it is necessary in many cases to support them, especially when the feet are very productive. The tutor prevents the tomatoes from coming into contact with the earth and getting damaged. It also allows the stems not to bend under the weight of the many fruits. Here are some tips for choosing the best tomato supports and supporting your plants in the rules of the art.
Wire mesh to support your tomatoes
Wire mesh is inexpensive, easy to install, and can serve as a good stake for tomato plants. Certainly, in terms of design, it is far from glamorous. But if the plants grow well, it will eventually be more or less hidden. The tomato cage is especially recommended for areas a little behind, and anyway, given that it is quite bulky, it is not really suitable for small gardens. However, this remains an economical solution but also practical since there is little need to tie the stems of the tomato plants.
A tomato guardian teepee
Perfect if you live in a very windy region, the tipi is a support for large tomatoes particularly reliable. It can be made of steel, wood or even wrought iron. The principle is always the same: plant 3 stakes in the ground and join them at the top then tie them securely with a wire or even a very strong cord.
The tomato tipi gives a little Native American air to the garden, and for the natural touch, we choose acacia, bamboo, chestnut or even hazel, species well known for their strength.
The inverted V-shaped tomato stake
Easy to create with the means at hand, the V-shaped stake upwards offers a good stability. Made up of two stakes joined together at the top and tied securely to each other, it is the type of all-purpose guardian in the vegetable garden since in addition to firmly supporting the tomato stems, it is perfectly suited to beans for example.
If you want to stake a whole row of rather invasive tomatoes, you have to form several inverted Vs, spacing them from each other by about 50 cm, then connect them with a long wooden rod strong enough to create a portico. It’s pretty, and the fact that it’s made of wood brings an authentic touch to the garden. The icing on the cake, with this type of support, the size can be zapped.
On the other hand, it has the disadvantage of having to be disassembled every year (and therefore reassembled at the time of the next planting). If you do not have a room where to store it, it is preferable to choose another type of tomato stand or you must agree to leave it in place all year round.
A twisted galvanized steel stake for the tomato plants
It is often for his design that the twisted tutor or spiral tutor is chosen by gardeners wishing to support the weight of their tomatoes without harming the aesthetics of their vegetable garden. However, it should be noted that it is quite expensive to buy. Also pay attention to the quality of the product. There are many tutors in this category that can only support a very moderate weight and, in addition, bend at the slightest gust of wind. So yes for its decorative aspect, but if we want quality, the price of the twisted guardian increases further. It remains to be seen whether you want to stake cherry tomatoes or beef heart tomatoes of large caliber …
And for the record, note that spiral stakes were designed to be assembled to form a sort of trellis, hence the importance of their small eye at one end (just like a needle eye) through which you have to pass a rope or wire. We can therefore create a nice tomato support system with spiral stakes on which the plants will roll up little by little without having to tie them.
A simple stake to support the tomatoes
Any rod sufficiently long and resistant can be used as a support for tomato plants. It can be made of wood or steel, or even sturdy plastic, because this tutor will have to fulfill its function perfectly. Some varieties of tomatoes produce in abundance, which is a weight not negligible when the fruits are ripe.
It is advisable to opt for rods whose diameter is at least 3.5 cm. Another condition to respect:rot-resistance of the material. If you want wooden stakes, the bamboo is perfect. This can therefore be particularly economical when you have bamboo in the garden since it suffices to cut some canes in order to make tomato stakes. You have to cut one end into a point so that you can easily drive them into the ground.
Among these different solutions, each gardener can find the one that suits him best. And if, in addition to having a green thumb, he has the soul of a handyman, his tomato stakes should not cost him much. It is indeed always possible to recuperate here and there, to create your own tomato holders.
But be careful, we install them ideally at the time of planting, so as not to cause any damage to the roots. In addition, if it is necessary to attach the stems to the stake, we try to use natural materials such as hemp cord, raffia, coconut fiber … The plastic ties are indeed practical and solid too, but they do not have that natural touch that we love so much, and in addition it risks cutting the stems of vegetable plants.
Finally, we never tighten the ties too much because it is necessary to prevent the tomato plant from rubbing the stake in the event of wind. It is also very important to anticipate by leaving enough largesse to allow the staked stems to develop properly. No strangulation is therefore not allowed. This is why the tie of a tomato plant must always be loose.