Staking/Caging "Patio" Tomatoes

MrChris123June 18, 2014

Hello Everyone,
I recently planted 3 tomato plants in my garden. The tomato plants are called "Patio" variety. I got them from Bonnie plants and apparently they are suited for small gardens since they will only grow 24" tall. Since they will be so short, I was wondering if it is necessary to stake or cage these plants?
Also, I have one more question. In general, when it comes to tomato plants, which is better, staking or caging?
Thank you all!

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Your last question has no definitive answer. Caging vs. staking has bee debated by growers for decades. Both have advantages and disadvantages so it boils down to which works best for you.

Having tried both for many years I come down heavily on the caging side assuming we are talking "real" cages" and not those 3 ring things. But many others much prefer staking. Try both and see what works best for you in your garden.

As for your Patio plants, yes they will benefit from some form of support as the weight of the fruit tends to lay them over as does wind or heavy rain. A 4' stake works well and for them, even one of the 3 ring things but it will need to be staked to keep it from falling over.


    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 11:59AM
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Thank you very much Dave!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 2:17PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

"Patio" tomatoes are usually very short and bushy. So in my opinion even a small cage should be enough to keep it contained.

I would recommend searching by its name (what you have) and find out about its growth habit.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 2:55PM
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I grow Patio almost every year along with other smaller varieties in (real) EarthBox containers. Commonly sold cages that are typically about 40" to 44" tall and apx 14" square fit in the EB very well, and are also good for in-ground use. Since these usually have 8 legs, I end up cutting off 4 legs that would be outside the EB, but for in-ground use, I naturally leave the cages intact. Cages control Patio and even larger bush or ISI varieties like Better Bush, Husky Cherry, etc. very, very well.

Here is a link that might be useful: typical standard size tomato cage

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 8:19PM
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My Patio tomato is about three feet tall and bushy. Loaded with green tomatoes that I hope will taste tangy beefsteak-y good. I had it propped against a patio roof post but a gust of wind blew it over. Luckily no stems broke. I tied it to the post top to bottom. It's so bushy and the stems so thick it's hard to part the branches looking for tomatoes. One tomato has some color and I have my salt shaker ready !

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 12:26AM
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