Why Training Tomato Plants is necessary to reduce pathogens.
Training tomato plants the process by which the plant is supported throughout the growing season. The support is necessary, especially when the fruit weight and other factors are considered.
There are lots of benefits of training plants. It helps to support the plant and allow it to receive an adequate amount of sunlight, which is very vital for high yield. Trained crops are easy to harvest. The fruits are off the ground and picking can be done without much stress. It also makes weed removal easier, as fruits are not mixed up with the weed which might eventually lead to damage.
However, the best way growers can keep tomatoes healthy is to train them individually onto tomato supports. The supports can be provided with trellis, stake or cage. The most important reasons growers train tomatoes is to make sure that the fruits and leaves are from the soil. It also allows proper air circulation around the plant, which reduces the possibility of foliage blight occurring. On the other hand, supported crops are easily protected from pests than those trailing on the ground.
You can also control pests such as whiteflies, aphids, and hornworms properly when you support plants. Insect pests will be more visible since you don’t have to battle with tangled vines common with unsupported plants.
Materials you need for tomato plant training
These are the materials you would need to train your crops.
- Plant Supports: This could be a 4×6 foot tall 1-by-1 stake. Or an 8-foot tall bamboo tomato stakes or tomato cages.
- Raffia Twine (for bamboo method)
- Cloth ties (tomato staking method)
How it works
Using single tomato stake for support
This method is the most common. It is a single stake that 6×8 foot tall. To do this, place a3/4 inch diameter of the bamboo pole into the ground. Use a soft cloth tie at every 12 inches on the stake. Make sure it is not too tight to damage the vine. Place your stakes at least 2 -3 feet apart. They should also be 2 feet deep and in rows of about 3-4 feet apart. The thing is single stakes are usually very easy to set up but are not resistant to the wind.
Tomato Cages are also very beneficial. You do not need to spend much time to train plants or remove suckers, pruning because the plants can grow on their own on the sides of the cage to support themselves. Caged tomatoes yield well and because they are not pruned, they develop enough foliage to protect the ripened fruits from sunscald. This method is also useful in hot summer regions because of the importance of soil moisture. The soil is properly shaded with this method to retain moisture.
- Bamboo trellising
A common type of tomato trellis seen in most gardens is the tri- or quadrapod. This is made up of about 3-4 bamboo stakes that are set together like the miniature tepee trellis. The stakes are ¾ inches and 8 foot. They are usually set at least 2 feet apart and usually lean to the middle.
However, there are different varieties of tomatoes such as determinate and indeterminate. The determinate are busier and need less support. While the indeterminate varieties require more support and should also be pruned.