TOMATO STAKES AND OTHER TUTORING METHODS, WHICH ONE WORKS BETTER?
Tomato stakes method has its pros and cons, but it really is not good for your yield.
Staking is an essential procedure when planting tomatoes. Its first objective is to make this creeping plant to grow straight, in order to keep the fruit off the ground, and thus, to prevent infections contraction, and to reduce infections caused by pathogens lodged in the soil. Tomato staking also helps agronomists to save space and to make daily tasks, such a harvesting and regular plant’s cares, easier. There are several ways of staking tomatoes, and each one has its own advantages and disadvantages, it is up to you to choose which one works the best. Though there are many tomato genuses, they all almost have the same requirements and same characteristics. Tomato stakes are widely used, and they may seem to have a many points in their favor, but actually it is not like that. For this technique you will only need stakes and ties, these last one are usually raffia twine made, but some people prefer to use nylon as well, and this is precisely one of the worst things about tomato stakes. Agricultural raffia harbors lots of hard to fight infections, which accumulate inside the twine’s grooves, making fumigation not an option because it never ends the problem from the root. In the other hand, nylon and synthetic raffia may be a more expensive choice with not better results, because it is known that constant manipulation can stress the plant, triggering multiple diseases that can endanger your crop’s health and quality. However, this method keeps being used by many farmers for the sake of saving space and money, but there are other methods which offer better results and maintain better sanitary conditions, and one of them are tomato cages.
Cages for tomato are usually made of remesh, but they can be found at stores made of less resistant wire. Anyway, cages are perfect for reduced budgets because of how easy the process becomes when using them. Tomato cages are placed once the plant has already reached a considerable height, and it has the advantage that, unlike with tomato stakes, there is no need to prune so much the plant, just enough to pick up crops easily and manipulate the plant without complications. Another great advantage it has over tomato stakes is that it is not necessary to tie plants, preventing thus harms and diseases due to mechanical stress or to constant contact of workers’ hands with the plant; the cage works as a support where the plants leans on. Nevertheless, one of the greatest cons about them is that, since plants become very leafy, humidity levels inside the cage may increase, contributing to the develop of fungi. And this leads us to to the last and most recent staking method: plastic trellises. Trellises are made of thin but very strong nylon, and are by far more convenient than tomato stakes, even than cages. Plastic trellises are very easy to place and install, and also turn out to be the cheapest of the mentioned techniques. Unlike cages, it does require pruning, but this is not so bad since it forces the plant to ripe fruits sooner. Trellises also allow excellent ventilation and do not need to ties for plants, because, just like cages, they work as a support themselves. When using tomato trellises, fruits tend to be bigger, being that pruning makes the plant to put more effort in fewer tomatoes. Also, because of the disposition of the trellis, harvesting becomes easier since fruits can quickly be found. Because of all the aforementioned reasons, plastic trellises are much more recommended for tutoring than cages and tomato stakes.