Once I knew it was time to stake the plant, I bought these neat and cheap bamboo hoops. My plan was to allow the plant to grow up in the middle and draw strength from either side.
I made a few mistakes here. You can see the first one in the predominantly bare stem. It tied just the main stem and didn't do anything for the leaves or branches. In a few strong winds, they all ripped off leaving only a thin crown at the top of the plant.
In addition to that, I decided to get fancy (which almost always leads to disaster). I tied a couple pieces of twine to the stalk, but for a couple of the supports, I looped it around the stem instead of tying to it.
Here is a closer look.
I though it would give the plant greater range of motion and let it move back and forth across the twine safely. Unfortunately, what I actually did was put it in a saw. The result was inevitable.
Fortunately I have a bunch more tomato plants. And this severed plant may have inherited something from my zombie cilantro near by. Because a new plant is growing right out the bottom.
It looks like I get a second chance with this one.