Train tomatoes – No Stakes Required
January 21, 2014
The thing that I enjoy least about growing tomatoes is the yearly trip to the nursery to purchase new garden stakes to support them. Well….no more as they are not required. There is an alternate way to train tomato plants. They can be trained to grow on strings.
My Mother-in-law grows her tomato plants on string and this year she has shown me how to set them up. I have long admired her tall, thin, beautifully laden tomato plants! Last year I learned how to remove laterals from the plants to ensure that the growth is focused on fruit production rather than leaf production. Now I am ready to string them up! If you want to learn more about removing laterals you can read the post I wrote about it here.
My Mother-in-law tells me that commercial growers in New Zealand use this method for training their tomato plants.
The main benefits of this method of training the plants include:
It is important to note that you need to follow the tips for growing tomatoes in this previous post I wrote to grow tomatoes in this manner otherwise the bushes will be too heavy to twist and control on a string.
You will require some type of frame to secure and run the line of string above the tomatoes. You will see from the picture of my Mother-in-laws garden below that hers are being grown in a green house. Mine are being grown between two raised garden beds that have a metal frame on each side. I used that frame to run the string across.
I remove laterals from my plants numerous times per week to keep them growing tall and straight. If you do happen to have a plant that has more than one main stem (as happened with a few of my plants by mistake) you can add another string and use two to support the plant (one per stem) however, this is not ideal.
How do you keep your tomatoes under control?
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