Gardening Tips and Tricks : Beefsteak Tomatoes: How To Stake Them For The Best Results
Growing tomatoes for the hobbyist can be quite easy and definitely very satisfying if some of the basic tomato growing techniques are adhered to. Staking tomatoes is a very important part of caring for a tomato plant and especially if you are growing the larger varieties like beefsteak. Beefsteak tomatoes are very large and can actually weigh up to two pounds per tomato. This variety of tomatoes is a favorite among gardeners as well as visitors to farmers markets and local fresh produce stands.
Beefsteak tomatoes come in both determinate and indeterminate varieties and with some varieties the determinate plants don’t need to be staked because they do not grow very tall but with the larger varieties it is a good idea to stake them because the weight of the fruit can topple the plant and break it.
Because of their enormous size, the beefsteak tomato variety requires some extra care when growing.
Tips For Staking Beefsteak Tomatoes
As the beefsteak tomato plants continue to grow and tomatoes begin to appear, the plants can become very top-heavy because of the size of the fruit. To prevent breakage of the plant the staking of each tomato plant with an eight foot long wooden stake is best. Insert the stake deeply in the soil about one foot away from the plant at the time of planting and use a heavy cotton string or strip of material to tie the plant in an upright position to the stake but leaving enough length to the tie for some movement in the tomato plant.
Do not tie the plant directly to the stake itself, but just enough so that the plant is straight and upright and sturdy. The stake is merely providing support. Tie in intervals that help support the weight of the growing plant in various locations, using more string when necessary as the plant continues to grow in height, width, and weight. Re-adjust the string, taking up the slack if and when necessary. Add new string to support the new upright growing of the plant.
Why Stake Tomato Plants
*Staking helps to protect the plants from damage, helping the plants remain upright during times of strong winds and inclement weather.
In saying that the plant needs to be held steady, the plant does actually need to be blown a little because it is with the movement of the plant during the wind that actually pollinate the flowers and hence the size of the crop.
With proper soil, sunlight, water techniques, care and fertilizer, in addition to proper staking, you will ensure that your tomato plants yield the hearty, delicious tomatoes you love. Staking beefsteak tomatoes is a minor job and but an important step to take when you consider the rewards for your efforts are delicious and well worth the effort.