Alternate Tomato Supports: Tomato Towers and Tomato Ladders
Tomato supports don’t have to be limited to just caging and staking – though these may be the most popular methods.
Depending upon your personal preferences and the layout of your garden, you might want to also consider using a tomato tower or a tomato ladder.
Using a Tomato Tower or Tomato Ladders
The terms ‘tomato tower’ and ‘tomato ladders’ generally refers to structures that you use to grow tomato plants more vertically.
A tomato tower or ladder can be a great tool for gardeners with very limited space.
They’re also great for growing more vigorous varieties, like indeterminates.
Most varieties will probably need to be pruned to just 2 or 3 main stems to conform to the narrower confines of tomato ladders or towers.
Overall yields might be reduced a bit per plant using these methods of supporting tomatoes, but the fruit will be much easier to harvest than with other support methods.
Vertical Tomato Supports Offer Some Unique Advantages…
Using an upright, vertical support like a tomato tower or tomato ladder offers some distinct advantages over more traditional forms of tomato support.
The foliage on a vertical support won’t be as dense and jungly as it often has a tendency to be when using support methods such as caging or staking. Airflow through the foliage will be improved, which can result in substantially less disease pressure. Mold and mildew type diseases such as botrytis (gray mold) can be significantly reduced.
In addition to being easier to harvest, the fruit will tend to be cleaner, with fewer tomatoes lost to rot (how many times have you spotted a big, beautiful tomato ruined because part of it was resting on the ground causing a rotten spot?).
If you live in a particularly windy area, a strong vertical support can help to minimize wind damage.
And as a fringe benefit, vertical supports just look kind of cool! Adds a touch of ornamental elegance to your garden.
Here are some examples of these products that are popular with gardeners. Click on the product caption for more info:
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