The 4 Best Ways To Support Your Tomatoes

Try these easy ways to keep your tomatoes upright all season long.

September 2, 2016
tomato trellisesPhotograph by Patryk Kosmider/Shutterstock

Tomato plants are floppy by nature—but by being left to sprawl, the plants are more disease-prone and fruit quality can suffer. Choose a trellising system that lifts the plants off the ground and allows for air circulation. Here are the best options out there.

(Attention tomato enthusiasts: Check out Rodale's Epic Tomatoes, the ultimate guide to growing more than 200 varieties!)

tomato stakes
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Install wood or rebar stakes at least six feet tall at planting time. As the plants grow, tie the stems loosely to the stakes with twine or strips of fabric.

Related: Make Your Own Upside-Down Tomato Planter

tomato tripod
Photograph by think4photop/Shutterstock
Tripods And Tuteurs

Fashion three stakes into a basic tripod for extra stability in windy regions; train a tomato plant on the upwind stake. Fancy tuteurs made of wood, bamboo, or bent twigs are the classier choice for ornamental kitchen gardens.

Related: How To Get 90 Pounds Of Tomatoes From 5 Plants

florida weave support for tomatoes
Photograph by Kingarion/Shutterstock
Florida Weave

Used commercially for determinate varieties, this training technique supports tomatoes with twine woven horizontally between rows of stakes.

tomato cages
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Cylindrical or square wire cages keep tomatoes upright without the need for tying the stems. Commercial versions tend to be small and flimsy, but homemade cages fashioned from livestock panels are strong and durable.

Related: Essential Tips For Growing Better Tomatoes