Trellised tomatoes

I’m trying something new this year with the tomatoes; I’m abandoning those floppy cages and trying out trellising.

Since I favor heirloom varieties of tomatoes like Cherokee Purple, my vines have always grown thuggishly huge and escaped their cages way too fast. Long before fruit is even set, the overburdened cages are toppling over and I’m out there constantly trying to find ways of propping them up.

So this year I’m trying a new (to me) method. This trellis system doesn’t have an upper horizontal or depend on dangling strings; with this system you keep tying more horizontal strings and attaching the tomatoes to them as they grow up. The deer have already given the tomatoes one good “haircut” or they’d be twice as big already.

Those aren’t ALL weeds; these tomatoes are underplanted with nasturtiums for pest suppression and tasty salads.

I alternated 7-foot T-posts and cheaper oak stakes every two plants because tomato vines are beastly things and get really, really heavy. So I’m not joking around with the supports here.

Of course I can’t remember where I learned about this system. As I remember it was on another blogger’s site, someone who was trying it out last year for the first time. But I don’t know who, so I can’t even check back to see if it worked or give them credit… So really I’m pretty much flying by the seat of my pants here and hoping for the best. It can’t work worse than the cages, right?

I’ll find out soon enough, I suppose!

9 Responses to “Trellised tomatoes”

  1. Erin Says:

    We were the ones that tried the trellis system last year:) It worked well, but we did not have enough supports (remedied this year). We also found that zip ties worked really well for training plants along supports.

  2. Diane Says:

    Florida Weave method? I’ve never used it but know lots of folks who swear by it.

    I love my cages but they’re made of concrete reinforcing wire, not the wussier ones. Mine have stood up to ginormous heirlooms (among others) tomatoes for years and years. I had to leave most of them behind in our recent move, though. *sob* What we were able to bring have gone to support the front yard cherry toms and the backyard toms will get a new system, rather like a suspension bridge. Exciting stuff, I’m telling ya!

  3. amy Says:

    a friend of mine is a gardener and she sprinkles hair around to keep the deer away- have you ever tried that? She collects it from a hairdresser………good thing you know one, too, maybe?:wink:

  4. diana Says:

    Amy, you’re right! I never thought of that, though I have heard it works pretty well. I better contact Amanda!

    Erin – Naw, it was a blog entry from some horticultural center of some kind. I wish I could remember from where exactly! :)

  5. diana Says:

    Diane: I will look up “Florida Weave”, thanks for the tip! And yeah, I borrowed some of those hefty cages for my butternut squashes a few years in a row, but then had to move… and that stuff is expensive! :)

  6. Erin Says:

    Amy I have done that with seedling with good luck;)

  7. ohiofarmgirl Says:

    hey baby! i use trellises and they work great. i use 1×1’s tied to tposts. easy peasy!


    someone has a question for you over on my blog:


  8. diana Says:

    Hey OFG! I’m really looking forward to seeing the trellises work this year. Diane was right, it was the Florida Weave method I was remembering.

    I hiked on over and answered the gal’s question, but I think I typed in her name wrong…. I tried to go back and edit but it wouldn’t let me! :(

    Aren’t blog conversations just the greatest part of blogging? 😀

  9. ohiofarmgirl Says:

    thanks baby! she gave a very gracious response. and yes! seeing everyone work together is the best part of this blogging thing.

    great work on your beez btw – you might not have a great harvest the first time. and we feed our beez just to make sure they are ok. sending hugs and lots of pats on the back for all your great work!

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