This method is supposed to help a plant produce up to 100 pounds of fruit. Last year I had a Black Krim tomato that very well might have produced that much fruit. Unfortunately, my garden was terrorized by a raccoon, so I didn't reap the rewards of my efforts!
I always start tomatoes from seed in April, then transplant outside in mid-May. Sometimes I stagger the plantings, but more often than not I like to plant everything all at the same time & harvest as much as possible at the same time. So even though all 19 of my tomatoes were planted at the same time, the 4 plants staked this way are twice as big & hearty as the others. I added compost to the soil for my other tomatoes, but they don't seem as nice as the ones around the cage.
I like to plant 4 different varieties of tomatoes around the cage & then compare them to the same varieties planted in the rest of the garden. I tried 7 different varieties this year, all heirlooms, & most I had planted at one or more times in the past. I have Sweet 100 cherry, Brandywine Yellow, Black Krim, Cherokee Purple, Beefstake, San Marzano, & Black Russian. Black Krim was my favorite from last year, so I wanted to try it out again this year. I'm hopeful I can harvest enough to make a few years worth of salsa.
|Japanese Rings cage-staking method for tomatoes|
|The tomato on the right side is so puny compared to those around the cage!|