Staking Tomatoes and Other Vegetables

Your vegetables can grow at a surprisingly rapid rate – fast enough that they might be able to support their own weight. This is where placing stakes for your tomatoes, cucumbers, and other vegetables becomes important for your garden. Stakes help keep fruit and leaves off the ground and away from ground pests, encourage air circulation and exposure to sunlight, and keeps your garden plots tidy.

tomato-plant

Tomato

Use strong stakes for tomato plants – about 2 inches by 2 inches thick, about 8 feet long, and driven 24 inches to 30 inches deep. Drive in the stake before setting the transplant so you won’t disturb the growing roots. As the vine grows, tie your tomatoes to the stake with twine or plastic tape.

Cucumber

Push a 20-inch wooden stakes 6 inches or deeper into the ground next to your cucumber plot. Space stakes 3 to 4 feet apart in a garden row. Tie twine halfway up one stake, stretch it to the next stake to keep it taut, and tie it. Repeat until all the stakes have twine between them. Tie a second layer of twine at the top of the stakes, stretching it taut between stakes. The tendrils should naturally wrap around the stakes and twine as the plant grows up.

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cucumber-plant

Summer Squash

Install 6-foot stakes every 4 feet along the length of the squash row. Push the stake 12 inches into the ground so it is well-anchored. Stretch a length of nylon or wire bean netting between the stakes. Attach the netting to the stakes with plastic zip ties, tightening the ties completely so the netting doesn’t slide down the stakes. Place the ties 6 inches apart up the length of each stake. Plant the summer squash at the base of the netting. Gently guide the sprouts toward the netting once they germinate and reach a length of 8 inches. Adjust the location of the ties as the vines grow.

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