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Do Tomatoes Need a Trellis? Tips, Steps, & FAQ


Unlike most other vegetables, tomatoes need a trellis to grow. Because tomatoes are so heavy, they will not be able to support themselves during the growth process. So, it is essential to have some type of trellis or support to ensure your tomatoes grow healthily.

Even if you use a trellis, there’s still a lot more you need to know about growing tomatoes vertically. Keep reading for a comprehensive guide to growing tomatoes vertically this summer.

garden flower divider Do Tomatoes Need a Trellis?

tomatoes in vertical trellis
Photo Credit By: Trong Nguyen, Shutterstock

Tomatoes are one of the few vegetables or garden plants that need a trellis to grow. You don’t technically have to use a trellis specifically—you can use some other type of support for the tomatoes to grow. It’s common for individuals to use a stake, cage, or trellis.

In other words, tomatoes don’t need a trellis specifically, but they do require some sort of support. The support will allow the tomatoes to grow so that they can fight mold and diseases, stay away from insects, and get the support they need for their heavy weight.

What Happens if You Don’t Use a Trellis When Growing Tomatoes

If you have never grown tomatoes before or never used a trellis before, you might think that growing tomatoes vertically is a waste of time. However, a lot of damage can happen if you don’t use a trellis when growing tomatoes.

Pests Devour the Plants

Most importantly, tomatoes need support to grow upwards due to their weight. If they don’t have any type of support system, the tomato plant will flop onto the ground. When this happens, pests, slugs, and animals can chew on the leaves, feast on the fruit, and tear the vines apart. As a result, the plants end up infected and dead.

Photo Credit By: jag2020, Pixabay

Lack of Circulation Leads to Diseases

Furthermore, stakes provide circulation for the plant. Without a support system, the plant would lay on the ground without proper ventilation. This lack of ventilation can cause the fruit to mold and become diseased.

Poor Harvest

Even if a few tomatoes come out wonderfully without a trellis, your harvest is going to be notably smaller if you don’t use a support system. Although some tomatoes may come out fine, the vast majority will fall victim to the scenarios above.

Avoid These Scenarios by Using a Trellis

To avoid all these scenarios, all you need to do is get a support system for the tomatoes. A trellis, fence, stake, or cage will be able to keep the tomatoes up so that they are away from pests and get the circulation they need for a vibrant, healthy harvest.

garden flower divider

How to Grow Tomatoes Vertically

The best way to grow tomatoes is vertically. Growing them vertically provides adequate circulation and protects the fruit from insects and other pests. Of course, a bit of technique is needed to grow tomatoes vertically. Here is what you will need to do:

Decide on a Location

Before you dive into creating your vertical tomato garden, you have to decide on a location. You want to select a location where there is a lot of direct sunlight. Tomatoes need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight every day.

Because of lighting purposes, it’s best to plant tomatoes outside. However, you can grow them inside as long as they are placed in a location where they can get the sunlight they need. You can use fluorescent lighting if you are growing your tomatoes indoors to mimic the light outside.

In addition to light, tomatoes need a whole lot of water to grow. No matter where you place your garden, make sure that it is in a location where you can easily water the tomato plant.

tomato plant growing on a fence
Image Credit: congerdesign, Pixabay

The 3 Steps to Growing Tomatoes Vertically

1. Set Up the Trellis

Begin by setting up the trellis. If you have a full-sized garden, get sharpened wood stakes and pound them into the ground. Then, get a section of welded wire fencing and attach it to the steaks using a nail gun. Adjust the size and width of the trellis according to the species of tomato you are growing.

If you just have a small tomato garden that is in a large pot, you can use wire tomato cages instead. Wire tomato cages are not big enough for full-sized gardens, but they are perfect for tomatoes being grown on your deck or porch.

2. Plant Tomatoes

chocolate stripes tomato
Image Credit: PxHere

Once your trellis is in place, it’s time to begin planting your tomatoes. Just plant them around the trellis as you normally would. This step is super easy.

3. Maintain Plants

Once your tomatoes are planted, the job’s not done yet. You need to water your tomatoes with about 1–2 inches of water every week. For a healthy root system, water deeply but infrequently as opposed to daily and lightly. Every month or so, fertilize the plant. Pick tomatoes as they are ready.

garden flower divider Final Thoughts

If you want to have the best tomato harvest, plant with a trellis. The trellis will support the plant and aid in circulation so that you have the healthiest and most abundant harvest possible. Without the trellis, a lot of the plants will be eaten, diseased, and dead before you have the opportunity to enjoy them.

The good news is that planting tomatoes vertically is pretty easy. You can create a trellis system for a large garden, but you can also create a mini trellis on a deck garden. In other words, you can customize your vertical tomato garden to your unique needs and space.

Featured Image Credit: kie-ker , Pixabay


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