Tomato support doesn't have to look ugly. There are many sturdy, beautiful, and stylish ways to support your tomato plants.
The key to choosing something to keep your tomato plants off the ground is to look at:
Here are a few examples of how yard conditions can affect which tomato support you use:
Tomatoes don't like wind to begin with, so they should be in a sheltered area if at all possible. However, we can't always control the weather, so if your yard could be subject to high winds, make sure you select a support that won't be blown over.
In most cases, tomato cages just aren't sturdy enough to withstand high winds, but there are a few exceptions -- click here to read more.
A tomato trellis (with or without guy wires in very windy areas) is usually your best bet.
Very sturdy stakes used with twine to make a trellis can be an alternative in wind-prone areas. I use this staking method here in "Tornado Alley" -- and I prefer the metal rebar stakes that you can get at Home Depot, Lowe's or most other garden centers)
Very sandy and high clay soils are a challenge to anyone, but if you're going to be trying to grow tomatoes in either, think about the depth of the "feet" going into the ground and whether they are long enough to hold the tomato cage or ladder up in sandy soil -- or sturdy enough to be pounded into heavy clay soil without bending!
A bush tomato with huge heavy fruit that gets a yard/meter tall and
wide needs a very different support system than a 9 foot/3 meter long
vining cherry tomato does!
In general, bush tomatoes do well no matter how they're supported, assuming the support is sturdy enough to handle the fruit. Vine tomatoes need a support that can grow with them (like these stacking tomato ladders, or a trellis that can be added to over time.
What would you like to read next? Here are some related pages: