Support Growing Tomatoes
This is my first year growing tomatoes. At some hardware stores they have nice looking tomato cages. Should I invest in these cages or will bamboo stakes and string be sufficient?
Apart from dwarf tomatoes e.g. Scorsby dwarf and Russian red, all tomatoes require support when they are in active growth. Whatever type of stake you select, it should be placed adjacent to the tomato plant either prior to planting or immediately after planting so that the roots are not disturbed.
Unless the bamboo stakes are green and strong, wooden stakes would be better as they are a bit sturdier. The tomato plants can be attached to the stakes with soft ties (e.g. pantyhose) at regular intervals of approximately 150-200mm as they grow upwards.
Tomatoes grow best in free draining soil with plenty of compost added prior to planting. As the plants mature, side dressings of Garden Time Tomato Fertiliser or Garden Time Vegetable Fertiliser can be applied, but ensure it is well watered in.
Mulch with compost to help retain soil moisture and water plants on a regular basis (2-3 times a week), allowing the water to deeply penetrate the root system. Always grow your tomato plants in a sunny position that is sheltered from strong prevailing winds. Good luck with your first crop!