Question: I purchased an assortment of tomatoes, and they are doing well. Folks like to put them in cages, but I have always found them more bother than they are worth. So I let them sprawl and go where they want. My squash plants I will give some support as I know they will take over the garden.
Letting tomatoes sprawl is the easier way to garden.
When you let tomatoes sprawl on the ground, more fruits will be wasted due to rots, bugs and just not finding them. This is particularly true of soft-skinned vegetables such as tomatoes.
If you are fine with that, then let them sprawl.
Getting vegetables off the ground usually reduces losses. Hard-skinned types, such as squashes and melons, have fewer losses if grown on the ground.
Bob Morris is a professor emeritus in horticulture with the University of Nevada and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit his blog at xtremehorticulture.blogspot.com.