Thursday, 1 August 2013

Cane-supports. Trial results

Some time ago I wrote about purchasing a couple of gadgets for supporting bamboo canes, for use with my tomato plants. This is a follow-up, reviewing how they performed.

The supports that I have used for several years now performed best by a long way.

They are the only ones that proved strong enough to support a cane fit for a big tomato plant. In comparison with these the others were simply pathetic! Regrettably I only have six of them. I would dearly love to get some more...

Earlier this year I bought some cane-supports that sounded as if they might be similar, but when they arrived they were obviously much flimsier.

Seen below are the two types side-by-side. You can see how very different they are in terms of size:-

The smaller items were soon overwhelmed, and their canes slowly sagged over at a crazy angle. I had to lean the canes against the wall of the house, otherwise they would have toppled over completely.

To be fair, I should point out that these items are intended to support canes used in conjunction with Grow-bags, so presumably for much smaller plants than the monster 6-foot-tall "Orkado" and "Ferline" tomato plants that I wanted them for!

The simpler type of cane-support which is just a short plastic tube on a rectangular base (see second photo) was equally inadequate for my needs. They might suffice for a lightweight plant of about two feet tall, but for a 6ft tomato? - No way!  I can't show you these in use because they sit on the floor of the container, underneath the compost.

With my tomato plants getting ever heavier with the weight of their burgeoning fruits I had to resort to emergency measures. I used garden twine to tie the canes to the down-pipes of my guttering!

And I also tied the tops of the canes to their neighbours, for mutual support.

At present, this is proving sufficient. Let's hope it can keep things going until harvest-time.

Well, the trials have convinced me more than ever that this (below) is the ideal setup for growing tomatoes:-

A big "self-watering" container complete with reservoir and drip tray, along with one of the really sturdy cane-supports and a pretty thick bamboo cane.  I just need a dozen more like that. If anyone recognises the cane-support in this last picture, or knows where I can get some, please tell me!


  1. Isn't it frustrating when things are on the market that aren't really fit for purpose.

  2. Mark I am on the search for next year I shall certainly let you know if I find any. My tomato plants are currently being supported by knitting wool, I'm a bad person I know.

  3. Quite interesting, the cane support. Reminds me of a stand for a musical instrument. Or an easel.

  4. I don't think I've ever seen can supports like in your last photo. Somewhere on the internet there must be a source, good luck.


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