How do you properly steak tomato plants?

pearsMay 18, 2008

I was wondering how to properly steak tomato plants. This is my third year planting tomatos and I haven't gotten the hang of it. How tall should the plants be before you steak them, and to what part of the plant do you tie the steak to?

I would really like to get some tomatos this year if anyone can help


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If you stake them when you plant them, you don't have to worry about damaging the roots, then just tie them up with something loose and stretchy - strips of nylons work great if you're only doing a few plants, otherwise I find the decomposable ties worth the $ because you don't have to cut each one down - in a Figure 8 between the plant and stake.
That said, I've often had to put in another stake or changed my 'support system' for my tomatoes mid-season, and they've never seemed any the worse for having another stake driven through their root system. They're pretty tough.

If you're just going to grown them up one stake, you'll want to prune them as suckers appear to keep them manageable - there's lots of other threads on this, so I'll let you search for that if you need to.

This is just the basics though - there are lots of different ways to support your tomatoes, all catering to different growing situations, space, time, etc. Cages are easier if you're having trouble.

Good luck! :)

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 8:46PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

A good article on the basics with pics.


Here is a link that might be useful: Easy Gardening - Tomatoes

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 9:48PM
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timmy1(6a ri)

We might have steak with baked potato... but you stake a tomato!

Sorry, could not resist.


    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 9:57PM
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tylenol(z10 Ca)

I'm confused...are these beefstake tomatoes ?

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 10:45PM
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Wise guy! ha ha ha (wink)

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 9:02AM
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I use 1/2 inch re-bar/re-rod cut to 6+ foot lengths. They are easy to put in and get out and will last many years. Available in 20 foot lengths at most building supply stores.

I install my re-rods a couple days after planting and tie plant with nylon strips.

After installing 6 re-rods two feet apart, I use a 14 foot re-rod about two feet off the ground connecting all re-rods and add another 14 footer about 5 feet off ground. I connect re-rods with wire designed for that purpose available at Home Depot.

When plants are about four feet tall, I tie plastic coated clothes line wire to first rebar and weave the wire between
all six rebars; pulling all plants into the middle. This clothes line is easy to work with, re-usable and available at Walmart. I like the green color.


    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 9:36AM
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Here is the best and cheapest method that I have found (especially for the tall indeterminate types). I wrote a later article in how I tie them.

Here is a link that might be useful: Staking tomatoes on the cheap

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 11:01AM
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windclimber(z5 KS,close to KCMO)

Ty :
I started to chuckle and almost choked from salivating.
What a riot!!!!
Micky- Check the FAQ's for diagrams. Use strechy green tape or something like it to tie the stem to a sturdy pole or fencing placed in the ground about a foot away from the stem. Make it sturdy as you can anticipate a heavy plant and fruit 6' tall.
At each truss (where the blossoms form) loop your tape around the truss and tie back to a sturdy place on the branch or the main stem.

I use 8' bamboo poles, and panels of galvanized welded wire. Others use reinforcing rod.
Your imagination is key to the enjoyment of gardening IMHO.
Have a great season!!


    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 12:43PM
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    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 12:53PM
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8' lenghts of 1/2" thick iron rebar here. Use a 5' lenght to make holes first, use an old visegrip to hammer in and out of holes. Usual depth is 1.5' to end up with 6.5' pole. Don't use 3/8" rebar, though it's cheaper it will bend over during late summer storms. 3/8" ok for peppers.

On the tying up. For the first tie make the lenght about twice as long as you need. When the 2nd tying comes along just untie the first one and move it up ~6-8" on the plant to retie. Save a lot of ties that way and longer ties are more useful when reusing next season. I use the green nylon tape usually sold on 100' reels at garden centers (it can be easily stretched by an extra 50%). At season's end I'll save them and wash in 5% bleach to reuse next season.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 1:00PM
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That beefsteak pic was awesome. I laughed so darn hard. The answer: TEXAS TOMATO CAGES but you best be prepared to shell out some CA$H. I think around $130 for six.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 1:21PM
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