For weather resistance as well as looks, make your stakes from metal, redwood, or cedar (never use chemically treated wood in the vegetable garden). Indeterminate tomatoes need supports that stand at least five feet above soil level. Supports for determinate varieties will likely be shorter (check seed packets for mature plant height). All stakes should be anchored firmly by driving them deep into the ground. Setting supports in place before you plant your seedlings gives you a chance to plan out your vegetable garden wisely instead of playing midseason catch-up. No matter what else happens, sooner or later those tomatoes will need a lift.


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