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string trellis for tomato

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string trellis for tomato

Post  1airdoc on 2/20/2012, 2:16 pm

I've seen some photos of tomatoes trellised from an overhead frame using string, but I haven't seen a good description of how that works. I have seen a couple, but they don't describe what keeps the vine from sliding down the string as it gets laden with fruit. Can anyone provide me with a better description of how to do this?
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Re: string trellis for tomato

Post  llama momma on 2/20/2012, 2:48 pm

Hi there Very Happy
1- the plants just grab on and take off!
2- it is completely described in the book how to make a trellis
3- or you can type in trellis in the white search box above Very Happy
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Re: string trellis for tomato

Post  1airdoc on 2/20/2012, 4:07 pm

I'm talking about the kind of trellis with a single string for each vine rather than the netting type of trellis described by Mel. You prune to a single (or perhaps 2) vine(s) and train each one up a single vertical string. Here's a photo of an example I found below online. I could use the frame for my current trellis but use string instead of netting. I know that if I don't anchor the vines to the string somehow that they will slide down and collapse, breaking the vine.

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Re: string trellis for tomato

Post  UnderTheBlackWalnut on 2/20/2012, 4:23 pm

Many of us did this last season and they don't slip. The plant itself is growing upward and you just twist the string around it as it grows. The key is that you want a solid taut string of nylon or cotton. Some posters have found that the natural twine doesn't weather a whole season as well. You want a secure anchor at the top and bottom. I've seen posters use pvc, conduit, or wood along the top frame, and wire from one side post to the other for the bottom frame. Then it's just a matter of stringing the vertical lines taut. The tomatoes are stiff enough they will hug the string if you twist them around it as they go. Here is a video on how to do that part - it might give you a better visual. Smile
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJgA4n-sCE8
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Re: string trellis for tomato

Post  Squat_Johnson on 2/20/2012, 4:34 pm


I did this for the first time last year, works great. Sometimes I had to loosen the twine a bit but that is the only issue I had.
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Re: string trellis for tomato

Post  camprn on 2/20/2012, 4:38 pm

Squat, those are so pretty, visually appealing, lovely. Very nice!!!
I did an overhead trellis system for my indeterminate tomatoes last year. When I set it up. I looped sisal twine over the supports and allowed an extra 18 inches at the bottom, assuming this would be taken up over the season as I wound it 'round the vine.. I used sisal because I thought it would be grabby on the vine. I transplanted the tomatoes and just did a simple half hitch at the base of the plant with the line slack. As the plant grew I wound the top of the plant around the string and increased the tension keeping the plants mostly vertical. There was some slouching but not much.



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Re: string trellis for tomato

Post  UnderTheBlackWalnut on 2/20/2012, 4:48 pm

Wow guys - those are some pretty tomatoes! Squat's tomato structures are nicer than most of my outdoor furniture... Smile Beautiful! Smile
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Re: string trellis for tomato

Post  PeonyLover on 2/20/2012, 7:54 pm

Camprn~ what kind of tomatoes are in the top pic (large oblong?) just curious.
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Re: string trellis for tomato

Post  camprn on 2/20/2012, 7:56 pm

@PeonyLover wrote:Camprn~ what kind of tomatoes are in the top pic (large oblong?) just curious.
Those are the fabulous heirloom Gilbertie paste tomato, but they are so juicy, like a beefsteak type, that we eat them fresh too.


Last edited by camprn on 2/20/2012, 8:04 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typos, per usual.)

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Re: string trellis for tomato

Post  PeonyLover on 2/20/2012, 7:58 pm

Those look nice! I'm trying San Marazano & Romanesco from Baker Creek. *crossing fingers* hoping for the best.
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Re: string trellis for tomato

Post  shannon1 on 2/21/2012, 3:37 am

I love growing my tomatoes up the string last year I used cages. I have up my string trellis up already if tells you anything
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Re: string trellis for tomato

Post  PeonyLover on 2/21/2012, 3:47 am

Yeah-same here! My cages lasted until mid summer when some high winds toppled them over onto my peppers. Ugh! Whole different set up this year. And definately more pruning (single stem) really hoping for a good tomato year. But, like who isn't. Lol
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Re: string trellis for tomato

Post  shannon1 on 2/21/2012, 4:56 am

@PeonyLover wrote:Yeah-same here! My cages lasted until mid summer when some high winds toppled them over onto my peppers. Ugh! Whole different set up this year. And definately more pruning (single stem) really hoping for a good tomato year. But, like who isn't. Lol
You are in my zone so here is a little tip from your uncle Mel. If you let a couple of suckers grow a little you can then snip them off and root them in water to get more tom plants free for your garden.
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Re: string trellis for tomato

Post  llama momma on 2/21/2012, 5:20 am

SquatJ
Those are gorgeous structures with such a visually pleasant way to conquer the slope issue too. Wowee. Very Impressive. Love it.
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Re: string trellis for tomato

Post  quiltbea on 2/21/2012, 8:30 am

Tomatoes aren't clinging vines (no tendrils like peas) so you need to do the twisting. I don't loosen my twine, just keep it straight from bottom to top. I gently twist the tomato around a full circle of the twine as it grows and it just keeps growing up very straight. Cotton twine wears out in the weather and sisal is too rough so I now use nylon tomato twine (got mine from johnnyseeds) to keep for a whole season.
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Re: string trellis for tomato

Post  camprn on 2/21/2012, 8:51 am

I had very good success with the sisal twine and it lasted all season.

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Re: string trellis for tomato

Post  1airdoc on 2/21/2012, 9:20 am

Great details and suggestions. I have used a "Texas tomato cage" for the last couple of years, but want to try this method. My tomatoes are not currently in my SFG, and I need to rework the entire tomato garden this year, so I hope to implement some of these ideas. Thanks! I really appreciate the photos - keep'em comin'!
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Re: string trellis for tomato

Post  Squat_Johnson on 2/21/2012, 12:50 pm

BTW, I used this info to make the Trellis A- frames. Mine were only 8' each.
http://images.taunton.com/enewsletters/vg/a-frame-tomato-trellis.pdf
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Re: string trellis for tomato

Post  1airdoc on 2/21/2012, 2:07 pm

Looking back at the images, I see that squat anchors his string to a crosspiece at the base of his trellis, but it appear that others do not. If you do not use a base crosspiece, do you tie the string directly to the vine?
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Re: string trellis for tomato

Post  quiltbea on 2/21/2012, 8:14 pm

airdoc.....Maybe you just can't see it. I use a wire strung from left to right close to the soil and it's not even noticed. I string from that bottom wire to the top of the frame.
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Re: string trellis for tomato

Post  RoOsTeR on 2/21/2012, 8:23 pm

@Squat_Johnson wrote:BTW, I used this info to make the Trellis A- frames. Mine were only 8' each.
http://images.taunton.com/enewsletters/vg/a-frame-tomato-trellis.pdf

Hey Squat, excellent link. Thank you

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Re: string trellis for tomato

Post  Squat_Johnson on 2/22/2012, 12:43 pm

On those trellis frames, by the end of the year, my indeterminate tomatoes were 6' up and over the top, almost back down to the ground. They can hold a lot of weight.

My favorite part is by using the string, it's easier to keep pruned back to one stem. One string, one stem...
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