Tomatoes are such a fun and exciting thing to have in your garden for the summer. Not only are you saving money at the grocery store, but it is also such a treat to finally harvest tomatoes after caring for the plants for so long. Although growing tomatoes is such fun, many problems can arise while growing them.
Bent tomato plants will probably happen at least once to everyone that grows tomatoes. It’s usually nothing to be too concerned about as long as you take care of it immediately; you can save your plant and continue having a great season.
In today’s article, we will discuss all the reasons why your tomato plants have bent, what will happen to them and how to solve the problem. Stick around!
Reasons for Bent Tomato Plants
There are a few things that could have been the culprit when it comes to bent tomato plants. Let’s discuss.
Too Much Weight
Usually, the number one reason why your tomato plant or its branches are bending is that there is too much weight on them. If you have big beautiful tomatoes hanging off of the plant, dragging it down, the plant won’t be able to support the weight of the tomato, therefore bending, and eventually, the branch or plant can snap. The best way to solve this issue is to trellis your tomato plants or give them support before weight is added to the branches.
Living in a place with high winds or heavy rains can definitely cause your tomato plant to bend. Tomato plants have pretty weak branches, if we are being honest. High winds can most certainly cause the plant to break if it doesn’t have proper support.
Trust me; we’ve all done it. Maybe you were reaching in while pruning or watering with the hose and knocked a branch or the plant, causing it to bend slightly. Don’t feel bad if you do! As I said, it’s happened to everyone. Always be careful when working in your garden, and tread lightly!
Several animals like rabbits, deer, and even squirrels and chipmunks love to nibble on tomato plants. As they reach in there, they will likely knock a branch or bend it while trying to get a snack. It can be difficult to keep animals away from gardens. However, a good fence or a mesh fence around your plants should help substantially.
Preventing and Fixing Bent Tomato Plants
Luckily, it is very easy to not only prevent tomato plants from bending but it is also reasonably easy to fix branches or plants that have already bent.
Fixing Bent Tomato Plants
Follow these steps to fix bent tomato plants.
Hold the plant upright, or hold the bent branch so that it’s straight in its original position.
Obtain a splint. Splints can be several things, including bamboo stakes, straight branches or sticks, even pencils or any pieces of wood you have laying around will do.
Secure the splint around the bent branch or stem. You can use plastic tape, twine, elastics, or anything else to tightly hold the splint in place.
Keep an eye on the splint. As the plant grows, you may want to remove the splint after about a week or so, but only if the plant has seemed to repair itself.
Preventing Bent Tomato Plants
The best way to prevent bent tomato plants and their branches is by trellising your plants or adding support before it gets broken. Tomato plants rely heavily on a trellis, a step you never want to skip as a tomato grower. Here is how you can trellis your tomatoes.
The classic way to support tomato plants is by using tomato cages. Perhaps you’ve seen them before. They are usually metal structures in the shape of triangles or squares that drop around your tomato plants. The tomatoes grow through the cage; however, the beams that create the cage support the branches of the tomato plant. Tomato cages are the best tomato support if you have a small number of tomato plants in pots.
Plastic trellis or trellis netting usually comes in a bag or in a large roll. It looks like grids of small squares that you lay over top of your plant, ensuring it goes a third of the way down so the tops stick out. As your plant grows, it will grow through the plastic trellis, and this trellis will be a big support for your plants. Since you can buy rolls of plastic trellis, it would be a great option for you if you have, for instance, a raised bed full of tomato plants.
While bamboo stakes are great for curing bent plants, they don’t make the best support as you will have to keep adding many bamboo stakes as you go. It’s a little easier just to put something like a tomato cage over your whole plant, so you don’t have to keep staking branches down the entire time it grows. However, they will still do the trick and are very sturdy support.
If you are growing a large number of tomatoes, you probably have them in a plot, and they probably grow in a line. The string method of support is the best for this setup. Use a stopper at each of the lines, then run string down your rows, making sure the string goes on either side of the plant. Not only will the string allow for support for the plant, but it will also keep your tomato plants standing up straight and keeping them happy. The string method also works wonderfully for making sure your plants stand strong during strong winds or rain.
Will My Tomato Plants Survive Being Bent?
If you get to your tomato plants immediately and fix them right after they’ve been bent, they will do just fine. Your yield should not be impacted, and you will not need to rip out your plant and start over. You would only have to do that if the bend was so bad that the plant snapped in half completely.
The Plant Has Support, But Still Bent
Sometimes, even when the plant has support, a branch may have grown longer than the support could reach. Once the tomatoes start to form, the branch may still bend under pressure. In this case, you will have to keep your support system in place but also use bamboo stakes to support the parts of the branches that have gone beyond the trellis or the cage.
A bent tomato plant or a tomato plant with a couple of bent branches isn’t something to worry about! As long as you act quickly, get support on your tomato plant right away, and splint the bent parts, your plant will be completely fine, and your yield will be unharmed. Prevent any breaking or bending by being proactive and giving your plant support before anything bad happens. Happy gardening!
Hi there, my name is Allie and welcome to my blog; GareningWithAllie!
Much of what you see written here is just our personal experiences with gardening. Along with the content I write here, there is also a unique collection of gardening topics covered by some of our close friends. I hope you find everything you read here to be helpful, informative, and something that can make your gardening journey the most lovely experience ever! With that said, Happy Gardening!