I need to talk to other gardeners, but by the sheer number of tomato starts that we have had donated to Project Eden this year, this has to be one of the best years for tomato germination in recent memory. We made the mistake of purchasing some starts for Project Eden, and now we have so many donated starts that we keep having to build additional plots to hold them. A good problem to have, especially when it comes to gorgeous heirloom varieties of tomatoes, I know.
This tomato surplus has given us the opportunity to test out a few different staking methods:
- We’re using cattle panels and twisty-ties for around 60 of the plants. The cattle panels are heavy gauge, so they should hold lots of tomato weight. We would love to use more of these, but they’re pricey and we’re practically an infant in nonprofit years.
- We’re using the Florida weave method for most of the other plots. We bought t-stakes for the ends of the rows (seven-eight tomatoes per row), then add a wooden stake or piece of rebar in between for support (every two tomatoes to be precise). Then we twine the tomatoes as they grow for support. But even the t-posts are pricey.
- Since we’re not gardening at our house this year (have I mentioned how sad this is for us? That’s a post for another day), we took our cages over to the community garden to use on around 20 tomatoes over there.
- Depending on budget, we may have to just let a plot of tomatoes run wild.
I’ll report back here obviously on which method works best in terms of yields, ease of use, cost, and disease control – stay tuned! How are you staking your tomatoes?