Tomatoes are tasty, juicy and plump and many gardeners like to grow them because they’re pretty easy and the fruits of your labor (quite literally) are quickly and easily recognized.
This is because tomatoes need to not touch the ground. The problem is that the tomatoes grow so big and heavy that the stem will actually bend down and allow the tomato to lie on the ground. When this happens, it’s bad things, man. Not only do bugs have easy access to the tomato to be able to devour it, but the moisture form the ground will promote rot. This is why your number one job while growing tomatoes is to make sure they have the support they need to stay off the ground – this is important! (The first and only rule of Tomato Fight Club, if you will.)
Now, there are many methods of doing this. Some people use wire mesh tomato cages. The plants can grow through the mesh cages and you don’t need to tie the stems to the cage. They are cheap yet very effective. You reinforce the mesh by a stake that you drive into the ground.
Another method is the trellis weave system. It’s simply a stake driven into the ground between the plants. Then you tie strings between the stakes and weave them around the stakes. The plants grow in an interweaved manner using the strings for support.
Tomato stakes are another way – using this method you use (typically) eight foot tall stakes that are driven into the ground. Then the tomato plant is tied to the stake as it grows. Almost anything can be used as a stake, for instance, plastic, bamboo, PVP piping, wood, etc.
However none of these methods compares to using Texas tomato cages. Texas tomato cages offer the best of all worlds. They’re cheap, easy to setup and you don’t have to manually and painstakingly tie strings to the plants as they grow taller and taller. Of course, for every piece of string you tie, you eventually have to do the work of cutting them all off! Tomato cages are much easier. You just drive them into the ground centered around your plant. Then, as it grown, you rest the tomato plant on different rungs of the cage. Some tweaking is needed as it grows of course, but not nearly as much fussing is required as when you trie things with string.
Hopefully these tips help you grow beautiful, plump and delicious tomatoes!