Tomatoes disrespecting my stakes
This spring, I gave serious thought to how to keep my tomatoes under control, especially since I chose to grow Brandywines. Really good cages were too expensive, and I'm not a builder (see below). So I chose 5- to 8-foot stakes, knowing that no matter what caging/staking method I chose, I'd eventually throw my hands in defeat.
That moment has come.
I've been tying them religiously. But I'm losing the battle. As much as I tie straight, the stems want to curl. And I fear not enough air is circulating between the leaves. It's just insane.
I've pruned the bottom branches because I saw symptoms of early blight. I also pruned some of the inner branches for air circulation--the foliage is out of control. I know you're not supposed to prune but saw no way around it. However, there's still plenty of foliage.
At this point, should I just try to keep the branches off the ground--tying and typing and tying, and cutting inner branches only when needed for that air circulation?
If I was handy, I'd build something lasting. But as I said, I'm not mechanical, and my husband has no time to help.
I realize this is an age-old issue. Right now, I'd be grateful if anyone has practical, just "get through the season" advice.