Reasons for tutoring tomatoes with stakes
When you tutor or train crops like tomatoes, production increases and you can use hand labor efficiently and employ lesser agrochemicals to your garden. Vegetable crops like tomatoes are in high demand globally. Therefore, increasing yield will enable growers to make more profit. However, selecting the right variety and using the right management practice will be beneficial as well.
Planting tomatoes with stakes will help the crop grow vertically and provide an opportunity to increase population density of the crops. Once they start growing, transplanting should be done within 20 days after the first two lateral stems of the plant appear. However, a good agronomic practice is to prune the lateral stems to optimize root growth. This will define the number of productive fruit bearing stems the plant will have later on in life.
Tutoring tomatoes to grow on stakes is highly beneficial to the grower. Fresh and disease free crops are produced and it also increases profit due to less use of chemicals. The fruits are prevented from the ground, which helps them stay fresh and disease free. Insect attack on fruits is also eliminated.
Tutoring also improves aeration which reduces the incidence of diseases. The crops grow in a healthy state and produce healthy fruits too. Also, staking makes it easier to harvest produce. Growers with waist pain or those too weak to bend down consistently will benefit from staking their crop. The crops grow upright, so harvesting by picking the fruits is easier. On the other hand, staked tomatoes or other vegetables tend to produce more foliage because they receive an adequate amount of sunlight needed for photosynthesis. The leave surfaces are exposed to sunlight for plants to use in making their own food and grow healthier and evergreen leaves.
How to tutor tomatoes with stakes
The indeterminate varieties of tomatoes require staking because they can grow between 5 to 8 feet taller. These crops cannot hold themselves up naturally, so they require support to prevent them from vining along the ground. The determinate tomatoes varieties, especially the busy ones may not require staking because they mature between 3 – 4 feet.
Advantages of using stakes are:
You can re-use stakes
Requires fewer materials. Just ties and stake materials are required
Staked tomatoes tend to ripen faster than un-staked tomatoes
More tomatoes can be planted since staking permits upright growth
Select the posts (metal or wooden). The most important thing is the height. It should be at least 5 feet or taller.
Insert the posts into the ground some distance away from the tomato (3-6 inches).
Then, tie the plant to stakes once the first flower appears.
Tie branches to the stake to provide more support.
Check plants occasionally