• Tomatoes are one of the easiest and most popular vegetables to grow, but they do require a certain amount of maintenance. Without good support, a tomato plant often ends up hanging over and trailing on the ground.

    Bushes and Vines

    Did you end up with a tomato vine when you thought you were planting a tomato bush? A tomato bush is rounder and more full, while a tomato vine grows upward from a single stalk and requires much higher support.

    Other Causes

    Listless tomato plants might also be a sign of disease or over-watering. If you're growing your tomato plants in containers, check that the drainage holes aren't obstructed.

    Tomato Cages

    Metal tomato cages, which are inserted into the ground around a new plant, are a popular method for holding up tomato bushes. The cage provides support for the bush as it grows, keeping fruit-heavy branches upright.

    Building a Trellis

    Tomato vines can grow up to 6 or 7 feet tall, and usually require a trellis. You can construct one easily by driving 6-foot stakes into the ground in regularly spaced intervals, and then running heavy-gauge wire horizontally between the stakes.

    Benefits of Tomato Support

    By keeping your tomato plants properly supported, you'll be reducing your tomatoes' exposure to soil-borne diseases and garden pests.


    The Great Tomato Book; Joan Nielsen; 1999

    GardenDesk: How Do You Support Your Tomato Plants?

    More Information: A Freestanding Tomato Trellis Improves Yields and Keeps the Garden Neat

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