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[Tomato Dirt] Tomato Masters Competition – and Tie ‘Em Up! Staking Tips
June 26, 2013

Tomato Dirt Newsletter
Volume 3, Number 10

Dear Tomato Dirt reader,

Welcome back to Tomato Dirt! Once or twice a month, we’ll send you this newsletter packed with tips about growing tomatoes and using them.

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June Tomato Masters Bragging Rights Competition Is OPEN!


The first round of Tomato Dirt’s Tomato Masters competition is upon us!

We’re looking for the biggest (by weight) tomato grown in June. The lucky winner will get Tomato Dirt bragging rights … a certificate … and acknowledgement on the Tomato Dirt website.

How to enter:

  • Take a photo of your tomato on a scale, showing its weight.
  • Submit your entry, either by sending us an email or posting your entry on our Facebook page.
  • Enter by midnight on June 30.

There is no cost to enter. Even if you think your tomato is not all that big, enter anyway. We’re looking forward to seeing what everyone’s growing! Read all the details about how to enter here.


FEATURE: Tie ‘Em Up! Tomato Staking Tips

Tomatoes grow vigorously. They continually send up new stems, branches, and blossoms. Tying up branches to stakes or cages prevents them from breaking.

Wait to tie plants to stakes until first flowers appear. This encourages the main stem to grow strong. Tie branches to the stake opposite blossoms so that when fruit grows, it is not trapped between the stake and the tie.

How to tie up tomato plants

  • Locate the lower, thick part of the branch below a fork. (Do not tie branch tips to stakes as they are more likely to break.)
  • Wrap one end of the tie around the thick part of the branch and tie a granny (double) knot. To get the best tension, imagine you’re making a knot around your finger. Don’t pull too tightly or you will injure or choke the plant.
  • Gently stretch the tie to the cage or stake, supporting the branch.
  • Wrap the second tie end around the stake or cage wire.
  • Adjust the tension more or less to train the branch to a supported position along the stake.
  • Fasten the end of the tie to the stake or cage with a granny (double) knot.

Check these step-by-step directions that explain how to tie up tomato plants.


Special Tomato Growing Tip

Treat tomatoes at the first sign of blight after fruit sets (as a preventative measure) or when conditions indicate a strong potential for it to develop to lessen symptoms. Treat organically with a biofungicide like Serenade or with a fungicide such as chlorothalonil (sold as Fungonil), Mancozeb , or Daconil.


More on Tying and Staking Tomatoes ...

How to tie and stake tomatoes for support Best methods for staking tomatoes The perfect tomato staking tape How to build tomato cages to support tomatoes

That’s it for now. More next time!

Until then, happy gardening!

Kathy with Tomato Dirt
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