Tomato plants are one of the most commonly grown vegetables in home gardens. Garden tools make planting, maintaining and harvesting crops easier. Each garden tool has specific jobs to perform in the garden. There are several tools used when cultivating tomato plants. Some of these tools are a necessity while others are a luxury and just used for a simpler gardening experience.
Garden stakes are long wooden or metal pikes that are placed behind tall plants to support the weight of the plant. Usually nylon rope, string or cloth strips are used to fasten the plant to the stake in order to help the plant maintain a vertical position. Tomato plants often need extra help staying upright because they are top heavy due to the tomatoes that grow upon them. Tools like garden stakes are used to ensure that the plant’s vine grows straight and the plant doesn’t fall causing damage the tomatoes. Staking tomato plants also normally assists the tomato plant in producing larger tomatoes.
Tomato cages are made from mesh wire, metal or polypropylene material. There are several styles available for gardeners to purchase. The traditional type of tomato cages are made from mesh wire or metal and need to be sunk into the ground to support tomato plants. Newer styles of the tomato cage are fashioned for ease; they are made from polypropylene and clamp onto garden stakes. The purpose of the tomato cage is to keep the leaves and tomato fruit off the ground and add support to the tomato plant by surrounding it with the gradual spirals of the cage.
Pruners are sharp shears that are available in long handle or short handle styles. The blades of the pruners can be straight or gently curved depending on the brand purchased. Pruners are used to trim back leaves, stems, thorns, branches or shoots on plants. Larger varieties of tomatoes such as indeterminate tomatoes; which grow vertically, need their shoots trimmed. The side shoots should be removed before reaching the size of 6 inches. Once the shoots grow larger they can cause the tomato plant to be venerable to diseases when removed. If these shoots are not pruned they cause the tomato plant to become unruly and too tall.
Hoes are a very useful gardening tool when growing tomato plants. Hoes are long handled tools that either have a three pronged end or a short wide blunt ended shovel. These garden tools are sold with many different shaped ends. They are used for weeding, tilling the soil, and planting gardens. Tomato plants need to be protected from weeds. Weeds have a tendency to carry many diseases that tomatoes can easily succumb to. Hoeing the area where the tomato plants are being cultivated on a regular basis will ensure these invasive plants are kept at bay.