I have two 4'x6' raised garden beds where I am growing a variety of vegetables.

I specifically want to find out for indeterminate toamtoes, bell pepper plants, beans, and peas, if I can just put long garden stakes into the ground to support all of them.

Something along the lines of: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Vigoro-8-ft-Green-Colored-Sturdy-Stakes-ST8VG/203894426

EDIT: ~Also are 6 foot bamboo stakes good enough for these plants as well.~

If that is sufficient, what would you recommend I tie the tomatoes and peppers to the stake with. My understanding is the beans and peas will wrap their tendrils around them naturally.

3 Answers 3


At least for me, staking vegetables has turned out to be a challenge. The basic problem is the weight of the plant. The more success you have in convincing and helping plants to thrive, the more that staking is problematic!

Here's my short answer: Now I use cages plus steel t-posts for the tomatoes, large tomato cages for peppers and eggplants, and occasional triads of bamboo stakes when I run out.

Here are more options, and explanations: For light weight plants, light-weight supports work. I have used bamboo, which is mostly my favorite. I do cringe at the idea one day I will be leaning and pushing hard on one to jam it deep enough to be sturdy and it may break and stab me. So I work slowly when putting them in. It’s enough stability for a few beans, but not really thriving ones.

Setting groups of poles up as tripods or more makes the structure much more sturdy than single poles. I put each leg in without too much attention to exactly where they meet, then tie string around them near the top. They’ll adjust their angles to pretty much wherever you want the string to be. My father lives where he can easily cut ~1” diameter saplings for garden stakes. The wood stakes last for years, have usefully rough surfaces to hold string, are sturdy, free, and in his case simple to obtain. They don’t take kindly to fence post drivers but one day I hope to get some.

I have a set of stakes that look like the kind you linked. There are two problems with them. First, they have a dipped sort of plastic coating. Mine at least have not stood up to sun. The plastic flakes off and pieces end up in the soil. Also, they are hollow. It doesn’t take so many pounds of pressure to bend one. Once it’s crimped from bending it has no strength and goes in the trash. They have the virtue of going into the ground easily. They seem wasteful, and they don’t hold much weight.

For solanums I like tomato cages because they provide lots of places to tie the vines. But they don’t tolerate much weight at all. Only a moderate size tomato, perhaps plus a bit of wind, and cages bend right over. I now get only the biggest, heaviest cages I can find. But it isn’t nearly enough support for a big tomato. So now all my tomatoes get a metal t-posts PLUS a cage. I pound the t-post into the ground hard with a heavy steel post driver the day I plant the tomato, then slide a cage over the post and push its feet into the ground. Assembling the supports on planting day prevents putting one of the metal pieces through a big tomato root. (Been there…). Eventually the strings that connect the plant and the cage get tied to the stake too. Getting the t-posts out in the fall is an exercise, but I figure the digging is good for loosening the soil ever deeper.

There’s a flimsy 3-4’ long u-channel kind of t-stake that isn’t beefy enough for the job. When you choose the length, remember you will be driving 1-2’ of it into the ground. Longer is better, 7-8’. They are a bit pricey but last for years and sometimes can be found second hand.

For peas, I drive t-stakes every 6' or so of row. I have lengths of 4' wide chicken wire that I've attached at similar intervals to 4' 2x2's using fencing staples. I tie the wooden chicken wire supports to the t-stakes along the length of the row, starting about ~ 6" above the dirt.

Another option I’ve seen and tried is to surround the t-stake not with a tomato cage but a ~2-3’ wide cylinder of 2x4” galvanized welded wire fence mesh. The problem is reaching inside later to get the tomatoes out. Some people with delicate hands may find it comfortable. I didn’t.

One year I helped a friend build wooden supports in their garden. We used sturdy screws to attach 2 x 4 uprights to the raised beds. There were problems. First, the wood struts across the top were difficult to attach very securely, and they take the weight. Second, the structure needs side-to-side stability, for which almost a cage rather than a 2-dimensional frame is needed. Finally, the structure leaves nothing in the center to which the plant can easily be attached. We used a lot of string and some creative language when it was time to tie up the tomatoes.

  • Cage plus 1" steel pipe driven a couple feet into the ground will also hold tomatoes. They get heavy. Sep 15, 2019 at 22:28

InColorado has given you an excellent answer. For my garden I tend to be as simple as possible by using a 3 or 4 leg trellis. This can be made from any material you have. If you have access to an old pallet you can cut down the 2x4 to 2x2 put an overlapping piece to join them. Any long branch will work.

I don’t put these legs into the ground. I place them in a stable way then drive a 1x2 stake next to it and screw the stake to the leg. This holds up nicely in wind.

You can get plenty of ideas with a YouTube search for trellis, vegetable trellis, or similar terms.


It worked great in the past for me when I pounded a 4 ft rebar at least 2 foot in the ground with the rest sticking out of the ground. Then slipped a 6 ft length of 1" PVC over the rebar. On the top, I placed a 4-way cap that I attach 2 ft lengths of PVC to make each of the 3 "arms". I placed wood screws along the "arms" and the bottom of the 6 ft pole to attack string down from the arms to the bottom of the pole about a foot above the ground. Wrap the string behind a washer and screw head in tight. Then as the plant grows it can attach to the string and work its way up many different strings. The heavier it gets the more solid it's pulled into the ground.

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