How to train tomatoes

Damien Scogin
Here's how to support tomato plants as they grow

Vinelike indeterminate tomatoes, including many cherry and grape types, are most productive when trained on vertical supports.

Install one of the systems shown here before planting.


Use a ready-made tomato cage or make one from a 6½-foot length of 5- or 6-foot-wide galvanized wire with 6-inch mesh.

Roll into a cylinder 2 feet in diameter, bending the ends over to fasten them. To anchor, drive 2-by-2 wood stakes 6 inches into the ground on opposite sides; secure with ties.


Use sturdy 6- or 8-foot-long metal T-stakes or rebar. Drive the stakes into the ground, 6½ feet apart. Plant four tomatoes in a straight line.

To guide the seedlings, securely wrap polyester twine around the stakes and stems to form a loop 6 inches above the ground. As plants grow, add more loops at 1-foot intervals.

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