If you do any gardening, tomato plants are a hardy option in most grow zones and climates.
When planting tomatoes, make sure that you provide support to the young stalks and learn how to tie up tomato plants to keep them healthy.
Without stabilizing the plants, they can easily break or fall in foul weather and wind and when laden with fruit. In short, tomatoes need stability with ties and stakes to stand tall.
How to Tie Up Tomato Plants?
Wrap the main stem securely with a safe string or floral tape. Indent the earth for a wooden stake, burying it securely but not so deep to avoid root damage. Tie the largest branches back to this stake until you tied it in 5 spots. Weave smaller branches in and around bigger branches for support.
Tying Tomato Plants: The Basics
There are many reasons why gardeners take the extra step to tie tomato plants during the season.
Usually, plants that have been tied and supported are healthier, easier to reach, and show a greater yield of tomatoes than those that have not been tied.
If you choose not to tie your plants, expect the branches to tangle, making the fruit harder to pick, and often causing tomatoes to rot on the vine.
Also, avoid letting plants droop and rest on the ground as this makes them more vulnerable to disease and damage.
So, take a look at the methods, as well as the materials that you’ll need to use to jumpstart this process.
Support with Stakes
While your plants are young, drive plant stakes- either wood, plastic, or bamboo- around 12 inches deep near the base of the plant.
Tie the string that you are using to the stake securely, and loop around the stem of your tomato plant. Wrap the string around every ten inches of growth as soon as you transplant your young seedlings.
Work your way up, from the stronger, lower branches to the higher limbs, wrapping the string or cord around the plant and then stake.
Work carefully and gingerly, taking caution not to pull the string too taut. To end, tie off the string under a branch at the base of the stem, when possible.
Stake and Weave
A long row of tomato plants could take forever to individually stake, so what do you do?
Try staking and weaving, which means that you only place one stake at the beginning and at the end of each row. Just make sure your tomatoes are properly spaced.
Tie your string to the stake, weaving it in and around the plants and stakes, tying at each interval. Repeat the pattern back and tie off at the stake.
What to Use
When talking about the string or twine that works best for securing tomato plants, there are some materials that outshine the rest.
When shopping for your string, look for something that is not too rigid, but flexible, and that is strong and durable.
Some viable options to tie up tomato plants include:
Cotton String or Yarn
Cotton is inexpensive and easy to find widely.
Cotton yarn is particularly strong and yet it provides some ability for plants to move and grow as needed. Look for cotton yarn or string at crafting venues, like craft supply or discount stores.
The Velcro One Wrap Tomato Supports are easy and fast to use, designed for the task at hand.
Cut the amount of Velcro needed to wrap around your stem from the roll and re-use the Velcro wrap ties as desired!
This Velcro product is resilient to the elements and easy to cut, trim, and adjust to fit your distinct plants.
Jute String or Tomato Twine
Jute string is so perfect for tying up your plants that it is also known as ‘Tomato twine’!
Jute creates a string that is strong, durable, and pliable- making it ideal for wrapping and staking any kind of garden plant or tree.
The best part is that it is easy to find at home and in garden shops, as well as very inexpensive compared to other stake-tying products.
If you want to get economical about tying your tomato plants, start saving and recycling your old pantyhose.
The fabric used in making pantyhose is perfect for typing, supporting, and staking tomato plants in the garden!
Naturally, you do not want to buy new hosiery to use for this purpose as it could get a bit expensive over time- stick to some good old, inexpensive cotton yarn, instead!
Frequently Asked Questions about How to Tie Tomato Plants
Why tie up tomato plants?
When you tie up tomato plants, you are providing them with crucial support that is integral to their hardiness and wellbeing. This process prevents plants from breaking, being damaged, or losing fruit due to wear-and-tear on your plant.
When to tie up tomato plants?
The best time to tie up tomato plants is when they reach around eight to ten inches in height. Make sure that you tie your plants before they begin to sag and drop with tomatoes, as they are more susceptible to disease when the foliage contacts the ground.
What materials should you not use to tie up tomato plants?
When you tie up your tomato plants, use only materials and string that will not hurt the stalk or branches of your plant. For instance, metal wire or plastic zip-ties are too rigid and can cut, damage, and kill your tomato plant.
Tomatoes are an easy crop with great fruiting yield potential across most grow zones and regions.
Do you know how to tie up your tomato plants, as well as the best materials and strategies to use?
Try the tips mentioned above to ensure your plant does not sustain damage or lose fruit due to a lack of support during growth, and protect them from instability.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.