WHICH IS THE BEST WAY OF STAKING TOMATOES TO INCREASE PRODUCTION?
Plastic trellises make staking tomatoes easy, reduces necessary care and accelerates the process
There are lots of staking tomatoes methods nowadays, and this makes difficult to know which one is the best. First of all, zone characteristics, as well as personal budgets, play an important role when to choose the best form of staking is about. In general there are three most commonly used methods, which are traditional staking (using plastic or wood stakes), using cages and finally using tomato trellises. Every method has its pros and cons but, notwithstanding, there is one that is especially good and it is the trellis method.
Tomato plant grows spreading itself on the ground disorderly, and this is why staking became so necessary for planting it. Its main objective is to give the plant support and to work as a structure that helps it to grow straight. Nylon trellises do that, and at the same time provides the plant with great ventilation, avoiding hydric and mechanical stress too. Staking tomatoes with traditional methods make you spend more time and material every time you need to stake again in a few weeks. The most common way to make this is tying the stem to the stake with raffia twine, which is a terrible mistake because it lodges fungi and bacteria that in time become impossible to combat. As if this were not enough, frequently tying the stem as it grows can provoke multiple diseases caused by mechanical stress. Besides, the risk of contracting infections because of hydric stress is also very high when using wood stakes.
Nylon does not allow the propagation or accommodation of fungi and plagues and considerably reduces the probabilities of the appearance of mechanical stress infections. Staking tomatoes with plastic trellises is really easy and once the trellis is placed, the needed cares are very few. Using twine to tie charged with fruit stems usually chokes them, decreasing the final quality of the still undeveloped sprouts. This does not happen when staking tomatoes with trellises; as the plant grows new stems are held by the holes in the mesh, where they lay naturally. This rids the agronomist of having to constantly manipulate the plant, and also lowers hydric stress infections due to the good runoff of water. Another advantage of this method is that, in spite of being very cheap, gives you better results while speeding up the whole planting and harvesting process up to 60%. This is so because it needs to be pruned constantly, forcing the plant into ripening fruits and making it put more effort and energy in less tomatoes. The result is a harvest of tastier, larger, more colorful, better shaped tomatoes in less time and with better phytosanitary conditions.
Staking tomatoes with cages is also very common and practical; the only disadvantage of this is that in most cases it is necessary to use handmade cages instead of bought ones. Cages found in specialized stores are generally made of wire, which does not provide the plant of enough support. Remesh (construction wire) ones tend to have better results, but making them manually increases labor inversions, which does not happen with nylon trellises.