How do I stake up my tomato plants is a question I receive all the time. My answer is, whatever works for you. When I was a kid, my dad would use my broken hockey sticks, cut off the blade, or what remained thereof, and use them as stakes for his tomato plants. He would then secure the tomato plants to the hockey stick by loosely tying them with some type of string, twine, old t-shirts and even mom's ripped pantyhose. He was a resourceful guy.
There are various other ways to stake up tomatoes and I wanted to cover
just a few. First I wanted to start with the method I use to prop up my
tomatoes, and that is the use of tomato cages. Regardless of whether
you use the round tomato cages, triangular tomato cages or square tomato cages,
the concept of their use is the same. Simply push your tomato cage
into the soil so that your tomato plant sits in the center. As the
tomato plant grows, you will have to do some maneuvering of branches so
they don't get "stuck" as they try and grow upwards.
As mentioned earlier with the method my father used, you can use stakes or poles
to prop them up. As with the tomato cage method, you will have to do
some maneuvering. With the stake method, you have to attach them to the
tomato stake with string or twine. They even sell velcro plant ties which are great. You can move them rather easily when you have to make adjustments.
Although I have not used these myself, I have seen in use spiral tomato plant supports.
The way these work is very simple.The idea is to eliminate the part
where you tie them to the stake by weaving your tomato plants as they
grow, through the spiral. They come in heights of 4 to 6 feet, which is
ideal for most varieties of tomatoes.
Another excellent method is creating your own trellis where there are
poles on each end with some twine at various heights connected between
them. This tomato propping method is most commonly called the Florida weave. As the tomato plants grow, you weave them in between the strings on the trellis.
Finally, just let them be. Some gardeners I know do not even stake up
their tomatoes at all. They lay down some black plastic tarp over the
soil, then let the tomatoes simply grow along the ground. Of course
this method makes your plants susceptible to a lot things, but if going
100% natural is what you are looking for, then this is it.