I was reading some article that said that stacked tomatoes yield less than those supported with trellis.

I tried searching for images for stacked and trellis tomatoes, but I see the same type of images.

So what is the difference between "stacked" and "trellis"? Being a non-english speaker, I know what trellis is, but I have no idea what they mean by stacked.

  • I think you should get it from the article. Who know that the author had in mind? As you see on google, there is not a definitive answer, and from my experience garden periodicals uses very often wrong terminologies. – Giacomo Catenazzi Dec 4 at 7:31
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    Is "stacked" a misprint for "staked" - i.e the plant is tied to a single vertical cane, instead of being supported by a trellis or a cage without any ties? A picture of staked tomatoes here:vegetablegardener.com/item/10460/… – alephzero Dec 4 at 10:51
  • Well I'm a born and bred native English person and a horticulturalist, and I have no clue what they mean by 'stacked'. Perhaps the former comment has the right of it, maybe they mean 'staked' but who knows... do you have a link to what you read that used this term? – Bamboo Dec 4 at 10:55
  • I'm guessing they meant staked. The basic ways to support tomatoes I've heard about include staking, caging, trellising, and tying strings to a fence, and supporting them on that somehow. Staking is where you put a stake (or something stick-like) in the ground and tie the plant to it to support it. – Shule Dec 6 at 7:00

One explanation is that they are trying to sell the idea of a tomato cage in the shape of a cube or a square tube. Normally tomato cages are inverted cones, narrow at the bottom and opening out to wider circles at the top. The fact they are narrow at the bottom means they are inherently unstable, particularly when you make them higher than a few feet and the tomato vine becomes top heavy with fruit. Say instead of a cone you make the cage a cube. Then the width at the bottom makes the arrangement more stable, and you can stack multiple identical cubes higher than a few feet, particularly if there are tabs that make it easy to place a second on top of the first and hold it securely in place.

The trellis is of course a flat lattice, perhaps formed of strings running down from a fixed overhead point strong enough to take the weight of fruit bearing vines as they clamber up the string. The cubes could be seen as a folding of the flat lattice into a 3D shape, and then modularized so they can sell you multiple units.

  • The rectangular, stacked cages work well, in my experience, only if they are also staked in place (they still tend to fall over when the plant gets a little less than 2m tall). When I used them, I staked them with a T-bar or steel fencepost. It seems that anything stacked must also be staked :) – Jurp Dec 5 at 0:29

I'm going to answer this assuming that 'stacked' was either a typo or that the article meant 'staked'.

Staking is where you put a stake (or something stick-like) in the ground by the plant, and tie the plant to it to support it.

Trellising is where you have something like a wall or panel (hog wire, a cattle panel, etc.) where the plant can climb it. Trellises are often made creatively with resourcefulness. You may have to drive stakes (or more likely fence posts) in the ground to support the trellis, too. I've heard of making circular trellises with something like hog wire that don't seem to require heavy-duty posts, though.

People don't trellis tomatoes as often as they cage or stake them, though, I'm guessing. Trellises tend to be a lot more work to create and/or set up (but they can be rewarding).

Stacking is where you put multiple things on top of each other, and as far as I know, it's not a known way to support tomatoes (although I like Colin's idea), but I could be wrong. It's not popular enough to where I've heard about it, anyway.

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