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Tomato Basics & Care Guide: Staking vs. Caging

by Cliff Sharples (chief cultivator)

It seems like every tomato enthusiast has a preferred method of supporting their favorite crop.

types of tomatoes  |  staking vs. caging  |  how to grow



The two most common ways to support tomatoes are by either caging or staking.

Caging Tomatoes

When you cage a tomato you simply surround your tomato seedling with a wire cage that's well anchored to the soil. As the plant grows it will remain inside the cage. To harvest all you have to do is reach between the cage wires and remove the fruit. If you plan on caging your tomatoes, be sure to use a cage that's at least 5 feet tall. Short tomato cages are often not strong enough to keep the average tomato plant upright.

Staking Tomatoes

Staking requires a little more work than caging—you must continue to tie up vines, and remove suckers from the plant as they are produced. Suckers sprout where leaf stems join the main plant. You can easily remove the suckers by snapping them off with your fingers. Staked tomatoes do have a tendency to produce mature fruit earlier than their caged cousins. If you stake be sure to choose sturdy tomato stakes. Tie the tomato vines loosely to the stakes using short pieces cloth or raffia.


care guide


I am definitely growing TONS of T's this year!
FigTree commented on 03/05/10