Young tomatoes need to be supported so as to allow them to grow in the best way possible. The provision of such help to a tomato youngling is called tomato support. This practice makes it easier to harvest and spray the tomatoes, keeps the fruit clean, and helps in the observation of the growing tomatoes making it easier to prevent diseases since any changes in leaf colour will be easily spotted. There are varying means of providing this support, ranging from cages to stakes and trellis; and so on and so forth. A detailed description of the support mechanism is described below;
Types of Tomato Support
A cage is a structure usually made of heavy wire that is used to provide support for tomato vines and the fruit they are carrying. It is the most common means of providing support for young tomatoes. Cages can be bought even though the prevailing standard may not be big enough for some varieties of tomatoes. This problem is easily solved by making larger cages for tomato support by one’s self. These cages are made to last for a number of years.
How to Make a Cage
First, you need a 5-foot, 10-guage concrete reinforcement wire that has openings that are 6-inches wide. To get the 6-inch wideness, you take a 4 ¼ -foot length of the reinforcement wire and coil it to make a cage that is about 18 inches in diameter. To create the legs, you cut off the bottom two legs of the wire, giving you the legs of the cage. These legs will be pushed into the ground to provide support for the cage. The sides of the cage, in turn, provide support for the young tomato vines, and as a result, they do not need to be tied. In areas where the wind speed is high, extra support is provided for the cage in the form of extra sticks driven into the ground, just inside the cage. The appropriate spacing for the cages is 4 feet, although this can vary from different species.
Stakes can be made from wood, plastic, bamboo styles and you can make your own from the pipe or other materials. After setting up the stakes, tie the main stem to the stake loosely with soft ties to avoid injuring the stem. It is a technique for tomato support which is easy and requires for the stake to be driven into the ground by each tomato plant and tying the plant up the stake as it grows; each state is set at about 2-4 feet wide. Indeterminate varieties of stakes need to be 6 to 8 feet tall with a foot in the ground for stability.
This is an immovable technique for tomato support which is a combination of cages and stakes. Poles or 4- inch wooden posts are sunk into the ground about 10 feet apart to build the trellis. It has to be deep enough and properly anchored to support the weight of all the tomatoes when it is laden with fruit. Concrete reinforcements wire or wire fencing with 6- inch openings are tied to the posts. The top of the posts should be 5 or 6-inch high, space of about a foot is left from the bottom of the wire to the ground. The tiller has to be clear underneath, so it should be high. A spacing of the planted tomato is 3 to 4 feet apart.
There are also permanent trellises which have the advantage of a very long usage. They are very heavy and are meant to stay in one place. It is a very good technique for tomato support.