Training Your Tomato Plants: Quick Tips

It’s important to train your tomato plants to grow up and not drag on the ground. Of course, you can let your tomato plants drag along the ground if you want to, but this will probably reduce the amount of edible fruits and possibly transfer rot and disease to the plant.

Method 1: Tomato cages. Cylindrical or cage-type wire cages are available at most plant nurseries or hardware stores. You can also use wire mesh, bent into a 22-inch cylinder and placed around the plant. Push any branches back into the mesh cage if they poke out from the holes. Tomato cages reduce the likelihood of blossom end rot and sunscald.

Method 2: Staking. This involves pushing 6-inch long stakes into the ground, and pruning the tomatoes down to only 1 or 2 large stems. Tie the tomato plants to the stakes using string. This method results in earlier, larger fruit but brings smaller yields. The staking method does not prevent sunscald or blossom end rot.