Updated: Aug 3, 2019
It's deep into the growing season and I'm not sure who is winning, the tomatoes or me! I keep the weeds down somewhat, but the sprawling tomato vines are everywhere.
We try to keep them somewhat contained and are trying three different methods of staking them to see what works. First we tried staking them with a single stake per plant. This sorta works.. the plant is up off the ground but it still wants to lean.
The second method we tried has somewhat success, too. In this method, you put two stakes on either side of four or five plants and then put string between the stakes at around 1 foot high and 2 feet high and 'trap' the vines between the strings. I think I need sturdier twine to do this, the plants are very heavy and are pulling the stakes in and coming down. I will try this method again with stronger twine.
The third method is a keeper - I tie the twine around the base of the plant, loosely, then twine the twine (teehee) around the plant and then tie off the twine at the top of the six foot fence. My romas are tied up this way and it's working wonderfully. I will have to build a support system for the free row plants that aren't up against the fence. I will try to use this far more widely next year.
However the supports go, I have LOTS of tomatoes growing. They are starting to ripen. The first ones are the lowest on the plants and so are less perfect than the ones I will be selling at the end of this month! Even though these first fruits are not perfect, they do taste very nice!
We are growing heirloom Ace, a nice big slicing tomato and Roma, a good dense paste tomato and Cherry tomatoes, a little larger then the grape tomatoes at the grocery but a good bite or two fresh off the vine. Wrap a basil leave around it and it's garden fresh goodness!