A tomato plant is one of the least fussy and most rewarding plants. It can grow in abundance in almost any climate and soil. The problem with this plant is that its stem is very weak, and its fruit is comparatively heavier. They grow on a vine-like plant, and hence, the stem needs support, so that the tomatoes don't fall to the ground. While many people let the tomato plant lie on the ground, it is not a good practice, as there are chances of them being infested by pests or rotting, due to its exposure to the scorching sunlight. This is the reason why it is important to stake a tomato plant.
The procedure involves giving support to the plant by using a wooden, metal, or plastic stake. It allows the tomato plant to grow around it like a creeper, giving it support, and preventing the tomatoes from falling. It is also believed that when staked, tomato plants grow better.
How to Stake Tomato Plants
- Staking tomato plants is a reasonably simple process. For this, you will need 6-feet-long stakes (one for each plant), some string or twine, and tomato saplings. If you get wooden stakes, it is important that you apply some wood finish to them, to protect them from rotting.
- The first step is to mark the staking spots between each stake, making sure that they are at least 2-4 feet apart. This will avoid crowding, giving give the plant enough space to grow. Plant the stakes around 10 inches deep into the soil, so that it has a good foundation in order to support the plant when fully grown.
- Once it starts growing, tie the stem of the plant to the stake, spaced 12 inches apart. This will ensure that the plant continues to grow at a fast pace. It is necessary to keep pruning the plant. Make sure that you keep the plant growing on a single stem. This is done for two reasons. One, pruning the excess branches will make it easier for the plant to be knotted to the stake, and two, the plant will focus on growing its fruit, rather than supporting the extra branches.
- Once the plant grows and reaches the height of the stake, prune the top off, so that the excess branches don't continue growing.
Tomatoes are wonderful plants to grow. With proper care through the use of fertilizers, watering it, and following the judicious use of pesticides, you can be assured of a bounty of red, ripe, and mouth-watering, juicy tomatoes.