Poll

Do you stake, cage, or let your tomatoes sprawl?
I stake my tomatoes
 
40.22%37
I use a tomato cage
 
46.74%43
I let them sprawl
 
5.43%5
It depends on the variety.. explain
 
7.61%7
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Tomatoes: Stake or sprawl?

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BannedUser
Joined: 3/30/2007
Location:
Posts: 1690
Posted: Jul/11/2005 11:33 PM PST

Well, they don't fall over. LOL That's a big selling point to me. I have a horizontal "Delicious" right now.

I feed the bad ones to the mockingbird. She loves them. LOL
BannedUser
Joined: 3/30/2007
Location:
Posts: 1690
Posted: Jul/09/2005 5:54 PM PST

The sprawls seem to have more fruit overall, and more pest-resistant. I let the Matt's wild cherry, Yellow pear, and Red Grape sprawl. Not only have they set a lot of fruit, they also kept flowering and setting fruit even in the upper 90's. The "Stakes" just stopped setting fruit and growing when it got that hot. Now, part of that could be the variety choices. The White cherry, Delicious, and Hank were the "Stakes" that fell over. Haven't been that impressed with Hank anyway (not a good southern boy, let me tell you LOL), but I was bummed about the Delicious. Going to try to prop it up again later.

When I put them in the ground, I'll see if this all applies. But for pots, I will let them all sprawl from now on.

Mama, I am not a pantyhose type either! LOL I'm a big fan of cut up old Tshirts. DH and I wear t-shirts and jeans to work to stock our vending machines.
fozbot3 blog photos
Joined: 1/18/2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 7893
Posted: Jul/09/2005 3:14 PM PST

i do none of the above. i grow mine on a trellis. guess you could call that staking, tho.
MamaBearBSA photos
Joined: 8/14/2002
Location: Altoona, Iowa (near Des Moines)
Posts: 4993
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Posted: Jul/09/2005 2:45 PM PST

If you let them sprawl, the suckers touch the ground and will actually root. This can give you a larger crop but also a larger plant.
Kale
Joined: 11/02/2002
Location: Greenhouse Mi.
Posts: 1465
Posted: Jul/09/2005 5:09 AM PST

I cage my all toms untill I run out of them, then I use fencing which is helds up by weaved wooden stakes. All are tied even if I let it spraw for a few day I have to tie them up ,I did find the one I let go wild for a while produced more toms.I had 22 lbs from that particular plant I also planted her on her side when she was a tiny little broked baby (my turtle got loose and was touring my 4 pacs last yr.)
I tie due to space and to keep them from getting too wet if left on the ground and perhaps pest and easier to harvest.
Is that the results you have found? More if you let it go?
I wasnt certain if it was due to the side planting or the sprawling.

Very interesting MB


Kale
MamaBearBSA photos
Joined: 8/14/2002
Location: Altoona, Iowa (near Des Moines)
Posts: 4993
Moderator
Posted: Jul/09/2005 4:11 AM PST

Tie them to the fence as they grow. I use old panty hose cut into 1 inch rings as plant ties. They work great. They give support with out damaging the stems. If you don't wear them, like me, you can buy the really cheap ones at Wal-mart. I just got like 40 ties out of one $1.00 pair. Panty hose also work great for supporting melons snd gourds. Or for covering seeds pods while they mature so you don't loose any seeds if you miss checking one day and they pop (keeps birds from getting sunflowers too, if you want to save the seeds). Oh, and put a bar of soap in the leg of one pair and tie it to your outside faucet and you have an instant wash station. Some people do this also with strong scented soaps to keep critters out of there gardens.
BannedUser
Joined: 3/30/2007
Location:
Posts: 1690
Posted: Jul/09/2005 3:39 AM PST

The "Sprawls" (all tomatoes are growing in 5 to 20 gallon pots) fared a lot better in the thunderstorm.

The "Stakes" (at least mine) all fell over.

Huh.

Eventually I plan to run a 6 foot high chain-link fence along the northern edge of my garden, and let the climbers climb up that. Not sure what I'll do with the tomatoes.
MamaBearBSA photos
Joined: 8/14/2002
Location: Altoona, Iowa (near Des Moines)
Posts: 4993
Moderator
Posted: Jul/09/2005 1:45 AM PST

I stake to save space. Well, not stake really, I have an old childs swing set that has all the sings etc. long gone so I plant my tomato plants under that and run ranty hose lines from the plants bases to the cross bar of the frame and guide the plants up that. I can get more plants in a smaller are that way.
myscrewsbeloose
Joined: 7/23/2002
Location: Vancouver, Washington
Posts: 550
Posted: Jul/08/2005 5:37 PM PST

I cage and stake. If I don't the slugs will have a feast. Plus if we get a summer storm it'll really mangle the plants.
BannedUser
Joined: 3/30/2007
Location:
Posts: 1690
Posted: Jul/10/2005 3:30 AM PST

Hi Kale! I got my Matt's, Yellow pear, and Red Grape from a high-end nursery here in Houston. You'll love this, they had transplants ready to go by our last frost date - [B]Valentines day[/B]. You can get seeds from either www.seedman.com (has 350 varieties and rules on customer service) or www.tomatobob.com (has a whole lot, including some white cherry and black cherry - black cherry has EXCELLENT flavor).

Good point about the smaller ones Colvillea, that makes a lot of sense to me.
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