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Growing tom's sideways?

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Growing tom's sideways?

Post  rjeverett on 6/18/2012, 10:20 am

So being new to SFG I honestly underestimated how well things would grow and now have tom's that are already a foot over the top of their cages. Don't have the money to build an A frame this year and thought maybe I could tie some twine from the top of my steel trellis to my shed. That would only give them another foot or so of growing upwards, and seeing is how I have a solid 2-3 months left of prime growing season I knew they'd out grow that in NO time going at the rate they're going now! After a little googling I found this video Sideways Tomato vine
Pretty spiffy, right?!
My only question is would this work as well with my non-cherry tom's? All of my tom's are indeterminate and are vining very well, but would their fruit be too heavy, or their stems too thick for this method?


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Re: Growing tom's sideways?

Post  ramarks on 6/18/2012, 10:31 am

Pretty spiffy, indeed. Looked like a stake and cable setup.

I'd be happy with half the production from my grape tomatoes.
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Re: Growing tom's sideways?

Post  CapeCoddess on 6/18/2012, 12:03 pm

What a fabulous idea! Seems like it would work for bigger toms, they would hang down and be so easy to pick. I may have to try that with some of these different toms I've been collecting and have to trellis for...if they even grow. It's been too cool here for much action in that department.

Thanks for sharing that.

CC
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Re: Growing tom's sideways?

Post  Squat_Johnson on 6/18/2012, 3:54 pm

Yes, indeterminate toms will grow sideways like this. I have wired baskets together, and let them grow over to the basket next door. Late in the season they were all at eye level.
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Re: Growing tom's sideways?

Post  rjeverett on 6/18/2012, 4:12 pm

@Squat_Johnson wrote:Yes, indeterminate toms will grow sideways like this. I have wired baskets together, and let them grow over to the basket next door. Late in the season they were all at eye level.

Okay great, thanks! Would doubled up twine be sturdy enough or should I use wire?
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Re: Growing tom's sideways?

Post  Squat_Johnson on 6/18/2012, 4:34 pm

I would use wire.
This photo is from a couple of years ago, but the Hillbilly tomato (in the left center) had 40 lbs of green tomatoes when I picked them before the last frost. I used heavy duty oak frames and T-posts for the trellis.
On the right are baskets wired together, and held up with t-posts.
The tomatoes are going 4' up and 4' down, hanging down at the end. They can get very big and heavy.



I tend to prune more now, and haven't had that kinda luck since, but maybe this is the year!
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Re: Growing tom's sideways?

Post  GWN on 6/18/2012, 8:37 pm

THe way that Elliot Coleman describes in his book is that once the plants reach the top, by then you would have removed all of the lower branches and you just untie the plant from the top and lower it down and then allow it to grow from there
I wish I could find a picture to show how to do this, it is my plan every year.....
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Re: Growing tom's sideways?

Post  CindiLou on 6/18/2012, 10:33 pm

I have 5' cattle panel cages...mine grow up..over..and back down. Finding the tomatoes in that forest is the biggest problem but I just don't understand pruning lol..ok, I understand I just dont keep it up enough!
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Re: Growing tom's sideways?

Post  GWN on 6/19/2012, 10:59 am

That is a good idea, I have never fully understood the laying the plant down, mine are also on cattle panels, perhaps this year I should direct them down the other side.
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Re: Growing tom's sideways?

Post  CapeCoddess on 6/19/2012, 11:08 am

GWN, I love that idea of laying the vine down halfway when it reaches the top. It's probably completely naked anyway...or could be. I think I may try that. Lord knows I now have enuff tom plants to experiment in many ways this first year. I wonder if the layed down vine will root and add even for energy to the toms...?

CC
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