No, not the beefy kind! “Stakes” is what is on the menu today. Today is the day I gently…and I mean G-E-N-T-L-Y tie up my tomato plants to wooden stakes so they don’t get top heavy from the weight of all their new leaves and topple over. It is a ‘delicate’ task and there is no rushing this or you end up with uprooted/torn foilage and stems and then you have to start ALL over again with the seed germination!
I like to use wooden kebab skewers that are around 12″ to 14″ in length and have a nice sharp pointy end for going down into the soil. Set the skewer beside the plant stem and carefully push down until you reach the bottom. Be EXTRA careful not to damage the roots.
Next, using special gardening twine (special in that it is treated as not to rot or fade and break once outside) and gently (like I stated above!) tie your tomato plants to the stakes. If your plants have grown really tall (like mine), you may need to tie once near the bottom, and again in between the first and second set of leaves. Do NOT tie too tight! They need room to breath and grow in diameter, so make sure you have left plenty of room for them.
Check on them every other day to ensure the twine doesn’t get too tight against the stems. Loosen as necessary and re-adjust positioning as they grow taller.
Then, just keep the soil moist (but not soggy!) and turn them once or twice a day so they grow straight.
Next time…we talk about pinching back…and NO, that is NOT pinching your back-SIDE…