Tomato plants need structural support. Is there a best way to tie up (hold up) tomato plants?

It may seem like no matter what you do the weight of the tomatoes hanging from randomly sprawling branches will eventually lean or tip over your tomato cage.

So the search is on for the best way (or ways) to tie up tomato plants πŸ˜‰

Here are a few ways to do it, however lets hear from you – what have been your success or failure stories for tying up your tomato plants?

Traditional Circular Tomato Cage
They come in several sizes. I have found that it’s better to get the bigger cages because they will definitely hold the tomato plant better. With that said, my experiences have been such that often they will begin to burden and lean over as the tomato plants bear lots of fruit.

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Ordinary post/stake
Driving a stake in the ground (wood or otherwise) and subsequently tying (loosely) the trunk of the tomato plant as it grows taller. A good stout wooden stake that’s tall enough to drive securely into the ground while leaving enough height to accommodate the full grown tomato plant – will not tip over. However the support is only at the central trunk of the plant while the branches weighted with tomatoes are not supported in any way. I have had fair success this way, so long as the support stake is strong enough and driven deep enough into the ground.

T-posts and a string line
Drive in several metal T-posts (they have ridges and attach-points) down the line and attach strong weather proof garden string/twine from one to the next at several heights. Then you can weave and attach parts of your growing tomato plants along the row as they grow taller.

T-posts and fencing
Same as above except instead of string, attach fencing along the line of tomato plants. Use fencing that has large enough square or rectangular openings to enable weaving the plants through them as they grow taller. This method can be used year after year – although you do have to get rid of all the dead branches in the fencing after the season is over.

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Do nothing, let them grow wild
I have seen (and tried) to just let them grow and go on their own. The problem is that some tomatoes will end up lying on the ground and will rot. It’s interesting though – some will ‘bush’ with surprising results. I believe there are specific tomato plants for this?

Upside Down Tomato Tower
I actually tried this several years ago. I bought two of them just to see how well it would work… the tomatoes hang upside down (growing ‘down’, sort of…) and it worked unbelievably well. It’s a novelty of sorts and makes for an attractive practical tomato planter for one’s porch or deck. I used the top tray to grow strawberries.

Rebar frame
Requiring some welding skills, a permanent trellis from rebar welded in a tall rectangular shape is heavy enough to stay in place. Use your imagination as to how you go about it and the way the tomato plants are ultimately supported. You might simply have rebar going across and use string hanging down for the tomato plants to wind their way up as they grow (with a little help from you). Have any of you tried this?

Okay, lets hear from you. What’s YOUR secret??