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Optimal trellis system for 4x4 tomato box

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Optimal trellis system for 4x4 tomato box

Post  bwaynef on 3/18/2012, 11:36 am

As the title suggests, I'm new to this whole SFG thing. I've got a plan I'm comfortable with for 4 4'x4' boxes. I've been impressed with the reception this SFG idea has gotten from my wife, but I'm not willing to press my luck. I'm concerned with price & appearance ...mostly because she is.

This brings me to a question. I'm planning a 4x4 box full of tomatoes, wherein I'll be planting 8 tomatoes (if I'm remembering right). What's a pleasant-looking trellis system that won't break the bank? I was thinking conduit & nylon netting, but can't figure out the optimal layout. The best I could come up with was 2 trellises in an X pattern with netting like this, |X|, but I'm not sure how the netting would work in the middle part. (I guess I could cut and tie it back together in the middle. I **WAS** an Eagle Scout after all.)

Am I overthinking? Underthinking?

ps. Staf, I spent several years of my childhood in York SC.
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bwaynef

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Re: Optimal trellis system for 4x4 tomato box

Post  mschaef on 3/18/2012, 1:32 pm

I think that X would work but will take a lot of effort to do. I know that some people have put their trellises right down the middle of their boxes and that has worked. I have only ever done one tomato plant at a time so i do not have any actual experience with more that one. I don't like tomatoes but my husband and kids love them. So I guess you could see which one you think would work better, look better, and be the most cost effective. Hope this helps and good luck!
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Re: Optimal trellis system for 4x4 tomato box

Post  quiltbea on 3/18/2012, 1:53 pm

I put all my tomatoes at the north side of the box, meaning 4 tomatoes per box. Cost is minimal since I used two 7 1/2' metal fence posts, one on either end, wire across the bottom from post to post about 8" up from the soil, and tomato stakes wired across the tops, with nylon tomato twine for the tomatoes tied vertically. Just tie the twine to the bottom wire and to the stake going across the top.



The fence posts work for anything growing vertically. In this pic is the trellis netting for the peas.



You can see the twine from bottom to top in this picture. Every week I go out and gently twist the tomato one turn around the twine. I found that nylon tomato twine works best for me. The cotton broke midseason and the sisal was too rough. You don't have to tie the tomato at all.

Remember, you don't want to put in tomatoes in the same squares next season. You'd do better with peas to fortify your soil the next year. I just switch mine around year to year. That's why fence posts at the north ends of all your boxes (they stay there forever) work best. You can do tomatoes, cucumbers, any trellised crop, also your peas and pole beans.



A long view.
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