Training Your Tomato Plant in a Small Space

Posted on Jul 21 2010 - 3:21am by Mike Lieberman

In order to keep your tomato plant thriving and producing more food, you’ll need to train it upwards in addition to removing the suckers.

The purpose of training your tomato plant is to keep the plant from getting to heavy and falling over. As it begins to blossom and fruit, it will start to slouch.

To keep it from doing so, you’ll need to train it upwards. In a small space there are a few ways that you can do this. Regardless of which way you choose, you’ll just need some rope/string and some scissors.

On my balcony garden, I tied string about two-thirds of the way up the stem and tied the other end up the railing of the balcony. You don’t want to tie it too tight because as the plant grows, you’ll want to move the string up higher the railing.

It’s just that simple. This will help to keep the plant upright and encourage it to start growing up the railing.

What are some other ways that you can train a tomato plant in a small space?


10 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. this_urban_homestead July 21, 2010 at 4:11 pm -

    If you had some way to add posts for support, you could try a Florida Weave. Basically, you would have a support stake on either side of your plant (row of plants) you tie a rope to on stake and then weave it through the plants and tie to other stake. You then add a higher rope and weave the opposite direction. So on and so forth. Also, for your method, you might want to try using ripped lengths of old t-shirts to tie the plants to the handrail. It is softer and less abrasive and is recycling and probably free. All of which are good things!

  2. Meemsnyc July 21, 2010 at 6:55 pm -

    That's a nice idea!

  3. Mike Lieberman July 21, 2010 at 8:24 pm -

    Word. Thanks for the idea. The plant is flowering, but not growing much. Not sure what kind it is because I got for free at an event sponsored by the LA Sanitation Dept. I guess I'll find out soon.

  4. monica July 22, 2010 at 6:20 am -

    i just used tomato cages that i bought for cheap from home depot. they don't extend much out past the circumference of my self watering containers. oh, and they're all sucka free now too. THANKS!!!

  5. Mike Lieberman July 22, 2010 at 1:46 pm -

    I've been thinking that, but would like to use as many existing resources as possible. Maybe I could somehow build a tomato cage out of existing resources…

  6. Whenuwish1 July 22, 2010 at 6:18 pm -

    Chicken wire……stapled to a scrap piece of 1×1 …….works as a cage AND keeps out unwanted visitors. Here we get rabbits — there you would probably get dogs or cats. Dogs LOVE tomatoes and bell peppers!

  7. Whenuwish1 July 22, 2010 at 6:20 pm -

    Oh yeah……at the end of the season be SURE to keep an eye on Craigs list and freecycle…….there are frustrated and fed-up gardeners that give all their supplies away.

  8. Mike Lieberman July 22, 2010 at 7:47 pm -

    Yea I need to be more resourceful and get out. Thanks for the kick in the ass.

  9. Whenuwish1 July 25, 2010 at 6:29 am -

    Here's something I've never tried before, but it seems to be working……I planted a few tomatoes in the ground along my chain link fence– I freekin' bungee-corded them to the fence! I stuck a few heavy duty branches that my neighbors had trimmed in with the tomatoes and then just bungee'd it all.

    So far, so good!

  10. Mike Lieberman July 25, 2010 at 7:02 pm -

    Nice. Like it.

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