staking vegetables

Monson, MA

Any suggestions on how to stake tomatoes and cucumbers. Have a hard time bending so would like garden up off ground.
Do use tomato cages and they do help. However, seems that some tomatoes are growing over 5 ft. high and they are bending over making garden messy and hard to get to ripe veggies.
All ideas would be appreciated, if too late for this year, will use next year...thanks all...

mulege, Mexico

A cage of hardware cloth can be taller and sturdier. It's getting more expensive. Maybe watch or yard sales for some.


Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Garden in raised beds, or raised containers? Welcome to our merry band!

Midland City, AL

I'd say the best method depends largely on what your limitations are. My favorite method is "hog wire" fencing strung between two uprights.
Some people don't know what I'm referring to when I say hog wire so just in case...
This method gives easy access from either side. The bending over and getting down required for cages is difficult for me. Hog wire comes 6' or more in height so there is little bending required. You can weave the vines around the wire. Tying isn't usually needed. My limiting condition is degenerative disk disease (DDD) and I am at that in-between stage. I can still stand, sit and even kneel. It is getting from one of those positions to another that hurts. I have both a standing garden and a sitting garden. For the sitting garden of planters and containers I go for plants that are bushier or smaller. Sometimes you can get normal sized fruit on a smaller plant.
My wife uses wild cane and bamboo supports a lot because it is easy for her to work with, doesn't get hot as wire does and it is readily available. Both grow on the property. That is okay for tomatoes, if you have the patience to tie and train. She also uses small cages in raised planters so that the top of the cage is about her eye level. She will tell you her limiting condition is TMB (too many birthdays) :-)
I still like the hog wire, however. It is stronger, last longer and you can find a coated kind or coat it yourself to reduce the heat problem. Things in the cucumber family don't seem to be bothered by the bare wire anyway. Hope this helps some. (Jim)

St. Louis County, MO(Zone 5a)

Something I just learned about tomatoes is that it is okay to chop off the tops when they get too tall. I cut mine off when I couldn't reach the tops, they grew thicker sideways and have made some nice size tomatoes even with our horrible heat.

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Gee, Cathy, I only had tomatoes once, ever, but that would have been good to know!

Monson, MA

thanks, like the idea of 'hog wire', will go on line and check it out....will put rebar or something easy to put into ground and take up after..

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Hey ladyslipper, where is Monson?

Monson, MA

Monson is south of Palmer....saw a neighbor and she had her stringbean vine climbing a stake...may try that next year...will see what I can get for lil $$ or cheap....perhaps just garden wire hung on garden stakes...

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

My DDs best friend lives in Palmer; we probably passed you on the Pike on Sun.

Laurel, MD, United States(Zone 7a)

Texas tomato cages are not cheap but boy are they good. They come in 2 to 3 parts depending on what you order and fold flat for storage. I think they will last a lifetime for a young person. If it weren't for the stink bugs I'd have had a record crop using them this year.

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

We have some fancy doo-dad that came with the Earth Box tomato success kit but I don't think DH ever put it together right. I think it would have been great.

Monson, MA

Like the idea of cutting off tops of tomatoes, will try it!!
Thanks Cathy.
Happy New Year to all and pray the weather is nicer to us this year!

Grosse Pointe Shores, MI(Zone 6a)

I just heard about "topping" tomatoes from a friend, and I've had a total "DUH" moment. Even though my wheelchair seat elevates 7", when the tomatoes are in a container 18" off the ground and grow to over 6', I still can't reach the top!

What a great suggestion!

Mesquite, TX

When topping tomatoes, just remember that new tomato plants are easily started from the cuttings. Simply strip off the bottom set(s) of leaves and any blooms and plant the remainder (bare stem portion)from six to eight inches into the soil. They'll grow new roots within several weeks although the crop will be later than your original plants.

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Welcome to our little crew, TXskeeter! Your comments are welcomed.

Longview, WA(Zone 8b)

Hi Seacanepain,
The picture you referenced is actually steel concrete reinforcing wire.
You are dating yourself when You refer to Hog wire. Actually hog
wire begins with the horizontal wire spacing about 2" and then the
spacing gets wider as the wire goes up the panel. I don't think You can actually
buy real hog wire anymore as most hog growers don't allow their hogs
to free range.
I say all of this because I am soon to be 73 and haven't seen real
hog wire in 30 years. I don't mean to be nickpicking. I just want to brag
on my fast knowledge of nothing. I am getting to the age where I
have to let it out in forums such as this one, because in real life
who cares... Now You have some more useless knowledge.
My Wish for You,,, A Fantastic Christmas Story, Paul.

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Hahaha I feel that old too. I am only in my 50s but I KNOW that after me, nobody will know the things I remember that they don't do any more, or don't have any more. I don't know about hog wire, but there are lots of things I do know about that are out of date or useless. Half the stuff my kids have asked for I don't know what they really mean. Texting gloves? Huh?

Longview, WA(Zone 8b)

Texting gloves??? I guess they are the gloves I see with the ends of the fingers missing.

Actually, I have mechanics gloves where the ends of the pointy finger and thumb are gone so I can grasp nuts, bolts and wrenches, while still protecting the rest of my hand. They have grippies on the palms and other fingers as well.
Oh well, I am Grateful for the life I've had. The other day, I attended a sweet 16th birthday party for a neice. Sitting there, I was thinking, boy, I am sure glad I don't have to do all of this over again. I guess I am getting old and feeling it. Maybe the Lord is Calling.

Longview, WA(Zone 8b)

Having said that, I want You all to pray for me, I am returning to Haiti on, 10 January, for 13 days. This is the my first visit since I was attacked by the flesh eating disease. So I am not done yet!! Am I excited!!
I will keep on keeping on until My Lord calls and says You are Finished...

This message was edited Dec 23, 2013 11:10 AM

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Yay, hurray, that's wonderful news, lonejack. I'll keep you in my thoughts.

SE/Gulf Coast Plains, AL(Zone 8b)

Seacanepain picked up the bad habit of calling it hog wire from me. lol. I have a few years on him.
It's good to know the proper name for things like that so I don't reveal my true age to the kid behind the counter at the farm supply store. Let us know how things go in Haiti, Paul! You are in the thoughts and prayers of everyone at Amargia Farm. mk*

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

You can always go to the strawbale gardening. There is a forum on it here.

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