Generally speaking, the chosen method for staking fruits and vegetables in home growing outfits has been “the tomato cage”. You see them every year popping up in home improvement stores across our country. People invest in these cages but potentially they are better used for crafty things instead of growing plants. Today, on our blog, we are going to introduce you to a better method as we show you how to best stake your garden plants!
Tomato Cage Disadvantages
Before we start in on why you should use our staking methods as best practice for how to stake your garden plants, let’s talk a bit about why tomato cages should not be your “go to” when looking to protect your garden plants. Designed, in essence to eliminate the problem of sagging plants, tomato cages are made from metals. Depending upon which type of metal they are, then can conduct heat and as they decay produce harmful chemical reactions that can destroy your plants.
Best method to stake your garden plants
That is why we are here today, and going to show you HOW to best stake your garden plants. Our method includes vertical uprights (which our very own Everstake is perfect for) that support the main stalk of the plant. Seems intuitive to put a stake in the ground and tie your plant to it. Many growers get this part right but continue on with us.
As the plants grow taller, they are loosely tied with twine to the stakes. This support the main stalk of the plant. But what about the branches and leaves that actually have fruit on them? After loosely tying the stalks to the takes, this same twine is run horizontally creating “shelves” of twine that the branches of the plants can be trained to grow laterally across. This give better support to the individual fruits as they growing preventing them from weighing down the plant. When finished your garden will look much like the lines of a boxing ring. This is the perfect beginning.
To provide ultimate support we recommend not only staking each stalk of the plant but placing a stake in between plants to provide extra stability in the system. Plants with weighted branches endure breakage and the fruit that is low lying can rot as it grows near, or on, the ground.
Other tips for creating a productive staked garden
- Stakes should be evenly driven no less than 24 inches into the ground. This will provide ultimate support for the plants and will ensure that the stakes are not harmed by wind, weather, storms, etc.
- Stakes should be driven into the ground before setting your plants / seedlings. Seedlings will begin to need support once they are about 12 inches in height overall. Never set plants, and allow them to “get big” before staking. Driving a stake near a plant can disturb or even destroy its root system. Therefore stakes, should be well driven prior to plant transplantation.
- When beginning a stake method of gardening, we recommend that you start the nearest row to the ground at no less than 8 inches’ height to prevent lower fruit from making contact with the soil.
- As plants mature and grow, you will find the need to train the limbs across the twine. When stringing plants across stakes and twine, be sure to do so only when the plants are dry. This will help to prevent the spread of disease.
Everstake can help with all your plant stake needs. From home growers to large corporate outfits we ship stakes in quantities small to truckloads of pallets. Need help? Contact us today!