How to Stake Tomatoes

staked tomato

From seed to harvest, tomatoes are included in my top ten favorite plants to grow. The seeds are easy to handle, and seedlings grow quickly with a high germination rate. All they ask of you is warm, fertile soil, the right amount of water, plenty of sun, and some sort of support structure to hold them relatively upright. There are so many different techniques for staking tomatoes; I have good success with the following method.

tomato seedlings

Materials needed:

  • 5 sturdy stakes per tomato, at least 5 feet tall

  • Stretchy garden tie

  • a ball of twine

tomato stakes and twine
  1. When your tomato plant is around 1 ft or more tall, preferably before it starts to fall over, tie it to a stake. Use any type of stretchy garden tie. Strips of old pantyhose work great as flexible garden ties.

  2. To make your tomato plant less susceptible to soil borne diseases and pests, prune off any leaves or whole branches that are touching the ground. Use sharp, clean garden shears.

  3. Make a 2-foot square around your tomato plant with the remaining 4 stakes.

  4. Wrap twine around the square, bottom to top, leaving space enough to reach in and harvest the tomatoes in the center of the square. As branches grow, you can tuck them inside the twine, but be sure to leave the growing tip facing out.

If you are growing multiple tomato plants in a row, you can alter this method to create rectangles of stakes and twine around two or more plants.

If you are growing lower-growing tomatoes like sauce tomatoes, you may use much shorter stakes.

Tomato-growing tips, advice, and surefire techniques are plentiful and can be quite unusual, including the use of fish heads in your planting hole, red plastic mulch, and strips of old pantyhose for garden ties. If your family has been growing tomatoes for generations like mine, I am sure you have your own tomato-growing tricks that have been handed down through the years.