[Market-farming] Staking tomatoes

Bill Shoemaker wshoemak at inil.com
Mon Feb 9 09:11:52 EST 2004


Jerry

    While most of the responses have suggested Hi-Tunnels, and I wouldn't
disagree, not everyone wants to have Hi-Tunnels. In that case, you might
want to consider using cages instead of stakes. Production should be
similar, and sometimes earlier. You can put the cages on later in the
plant's growing cycle without causing as much damage. The fruit aren't as
easy to pick but they generally are of high quality. The cages we use are
made of #10 concrete wire mesh. It's cut to length and rolled into cages.
The bottom can be clipped, leaving the vertical pieces that can then be
stabbed into the ground to set them. Tall ones can also have a stake set
next to them. Use cable ties to hold the cage to the stake. Then the cages
work for indeterminate types too.

Bill Shoemaker
Sr Research Specialist, Food Crops
Univ of Illinois - St Charles Hort Research Center


-----Original Message-----
From: JERRY ANDERBERG <jerryanderberg at hotmail.com>
To: market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org <market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org>
Date: Sunday, February 08, 2004 12:52 PM
Subject: [Market-farming] Staking tomatoes


>I was wondering if anyone could help with some advice.  We are market
>gardeners in Billings, Montana with a growing season of 120 days.  We grow
>mostly determinate tomatoes concentrating on Northern Exposure and Early
>Goliath.  We set transplants out under row cover which is removed in about
5
>weeks as blossoms begin to set.  At this time we have very vigorous plants
>that set heavy fruit.  Our problem with staking is that the fruit is so
>heavy that the main stems  break off as the fruit grow while we are trying
>to get the plants to stand up.  What usually happens is that the plants
grow
>along the ground and are hard to pick and do not ripen very evenly.  I
>believe we need to stake earlier with a better structure than just a short
>bean poll.  Any suggestions.
>Thanks
>Melon Patch Kids
>
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