Using A Tomato Trellis
If you want to grow larger, less blemished tomatoes you can benefit by using a tomato trellis. Most people have free growing tomato plants that lay on the ground. Other people use stakes to tie up tomato plants, to keep them off of the ground. All of these techniques are fine for raising tomatoes but by using a tomato trellis you can have healthier, larger tomatoes and an attractive garden.
A tomato trellis is a large wooden or metal structure use for training tomato plants. It has many open areas or holes that the stems of the tomatoes grow through. There is no longer any need to use stakes to hold the plants up. The trellis will train the plant to grow in an upward position. This can actually make the plant stronger and able to handle heavy winds or storms without damaging the tomato plant.
Whether or not you choose to use a tomato trellis, you can still have healthy tomatoes. But using the other methods can affect your yield. For example, you may get the most tomatoes if you are using the free grow method. But at harvest time, you can expect more tomatoes that are scarred and bruised. When tomatoes are left on the ground, it opens them up to many damaging elements. They can become infested by insects, suffer water damage and become bruised by rocks or even other companion plants.
Staking the tomato plant up can help by lifting the stems off of the ground but again the plant can suffer. In this case, you will have to use a stake for every plant and tie them to it. This is where the damage can occur. You must use a stretch cotton cloth to tie these stems up and it cannot be too tight. If you tie the stems up and the material is wrapped too tightly it can injury the stem or even stop it from growing. This method will not train the tomato plant. The plant will still want to naturally fall to the ground and it will resist the tie. All of these things will have a negative effect at harvest time and you will not have that many healthy tomatoes to enjoy.
A tomato trellis can give this plant the support it needs without hurting the delicate stems. As soon as you place the plant by the trellis it will start to grow upward and attach its stems to the trellis. This trains the plant to grow upward. You can purchase a tomato trellis from your local garden center or make it yourself. You can use any taller wooden or metal stand as long as it has some kind of holes in it for the stems to snake through. If you have a section of metal fence that you are not using, it can make a perfect trellis for your garden area. These trellises make it easy to pick tomatoes when they are ready. It is also easier to prune out sucker leaves from the plant, for healthier tomato plants.
The only disadvantage of using a tomato trellis is that you may not see a great amount of tomatoes at harvest time. The free grow method will produce more tomatoes. But when using the trellis, the tomatoes that you do harvest will be larger and healthier than the free grow method. They won't have bruises or blemishes and they probably will not be affected by insect infestations. It will be easier to prune and to pick the fruit.
Using a tomato trellis in the garden is a good way to have healthier tomato plants. It also makes your garden and yard more attractive and more pleasing to look at.