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Tomato plants out growing cages and over 5 ft tall

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Tomato plants out growing cages and over 5 ft tall

Post  angela.cawein on 7/27/2012, 10:54 pm

I am having trouble with my plants, I have put stakes and even tied some branches up with cotten rope and bungie cords. They are taller than myself and I am 5'7" tall. Will the plants be ok and my tomatoes, if I just let them fall over? I have always tied them up.
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Re: Tomato plants out growing cages and over 5 ft tall

Post  walshevak on 7/27/2012, 11:24 pm

I have in the past (before I learned about suckering)let them grow enough to start falling over and then used a sling usually pantyhose or garden tape to tie them just enough to keep off the ground. Often the new limbs are tied to an old limbs. Not a pretty plant, but a producing one.

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Re: Tomato plants out growing cages and over 5 ft tall

Post  darci.strutt on 7/27/2012, 11:53 pm

This is my first year with Mel's Mix and my goodness...my tomatoes are huge! Normally my little cage are more than enough, but they are going everywhere. I better get more pantyhose! I'm learning a lot this year! Wow!
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Re: Tomato plants out growing cages and over 5 ft tall

Post  NorthWoodsFever on 7/28/2012, 8:09 am

Mine are doing the same thing! A couple are well over 6' tall now and growing everywhere...all the cages are WAY to small now. And there are tons of tomatos on each plant. I'll have to try the pantyhose trick.
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Re: Tomato plants out growing cages and over 5 ft tall

Post  camprn on 7/28/2012, 9:19 am

I feel the pain. This is the reason I built an overhead trellis system. In past years I used long branches to prop up the tops of my tomato plants.

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Re: Tomato plants out growing cages and over 5 ft tall

Post  GWN on 7/28/2012, 9:55 am

What I have done in the past when tomatoes over grew the cages, was to add stakes near by and train them over that way.
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over-growing tomatoes

Post  sdirksen on 7/28/2012, 1:06 pm

This year I'm using cages called Texas Tomato Cages. They come in three sections and are very sturdy, circular and seem to be working well on my plus 5' tomato plants (and growing). The cages with full extensions, look to be about 8'. Because the weather in the Bay Area has been good this year, I'm letting the tomatoes grow tall. Bracing is easy with short redwood sticks across the diameter of the cage. Tying is not needed, but I've been pretty careful to remove suckers.
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Re: Tomato plants out growing cages and over 5 ft tall

Post  NorthWoodsFever on 7/28/2012, 1:24 pm

camprn wrote:I feel the pain. This is the reason I built an overhead trellis system. In past years I used long branches to prop up the tops of my tomato plants.

Do you have a photo of your overhead trellis sustem? I'd love to see it.
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Re: Tomato plants out growing cages and over 5 ft tall

Post  SARockhill on 7/28/2012, 1:35 pm

[quote="walshevak"]I have in the past (before I learned about suckering)
>

Yes I agree first learn about sucker pinching but if you missed those they become sort of a third trunk. This third trunk can suck a lot out of the main plant, on another note you can remove the third trunk and stick it in the ground/pot and it will 75% of the time keep growing on it's own and you have another Tomato plant to use/give/sell. good idea
> Laughing
Ok I'm still to new of a member to attach links so I will have to later in the future update this with a couple of my favorites on the subject of suckers and free plants from them.
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Re: Tomato plants out growing cages and over 5 ft tall

Post  yolos on 7/28/2012, 3:34 pm

by sdirksen on 7/28/2012, 1:06 pm
This year I'm using cages called Texas Tomato Cages. They come in three sections and are very sturdy, circular and seem to be working well on my plus 5' tomato plants (and growing). The cages with full extensions, look to be about 8'. Because the weather in the Bay Area has been good this year, I'm letting the tomatoes grow tall. Bracing is easy with short redwood sticks across the diameter of the cage. Tying is not needed, but I've been pretty careful to remove suckers..
sdirksen - I am also using Texas Tomato Cages. I also have the extensions and two of my six tomato plants are now above the top extension. Best year ever for keeping my tomatoes healthy enough to go over the top.
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Re: Tomato plants out growing cages and over 5 ft tall

Post  darci.strutt on 7/28/2012, 10:22 pm

I'm going to check out the Texas cages and consider them for next year. I planted mine to close together this first year. I didn't realize what a big difference MM would make! Fingers crossed I can keep them healthy.

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Re: Tomato plants out growing cages and over 5 ft tall

Post  yolos on 7/28/2012, 10:52 pm

Those Texas Tomato Cages are fairly expensive. I am not sure that they are what you need for a SFG. Mine are 24" in diameter (you can get smaller diameter ones though). Therefore, they take 4 squares for each cage.
I am also trying the overhead string method this year and the tomatoes that I suckered properly are working pretty good. A couple did not get suckered as well as they should have and I now have a few branches bending over due to heavy fruit setting on. I planted them all in one line so I could reach the front and back from the edge of the bed. They were planted 1 per square foot so the space required is considerably more efficient.
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Re: Tomato plants out growing cages and over 5 ft tall

Post  marietta mike on 8/1/2012, 2:28 am

This being my first year as well i was not ready for the out come.

My plants are all over 5 foot. I am 5'8" and i am looking up at my top growth.
When I began to notice a problem with the heigth I was stumped. I had put the plants 1 per sq ft also with a cage. The first thing i did was swap out my stakes. I removed the 4 footers and put in 6 footers. I was using the green heavy plastic stakes from Home Depot so not a real issue with damage to the roots. One comes out the next goes back in the same hole.
The next thing i did was take the 4 ft stakes and laid them through the cages. I tied the ends to the cage ring. I lay the stake as close to the plant as possible and tied the plant to the stake. When they came over the top i repeated the process across the top ring.
This worked great until the plants reached 5 1/2 foot. I then took brown cord and tied it to the top stake, laying cage to cage, and tied the other end to an over head support. I put a couple of 7 foot long 2x2's at each end crossed and screwed together at the top and hammered into the, wet, ground a few inches then a 7 ft 2x2 laid length wise between the end supports. I then tied the cord from stake laying on the cage to over head 2x2. I then tied and wrapped the plants to the cord. The plants are doing just fine and the tomatoes no matter their size are getting great support.

As a bonus when the birds began to move in i got some camo cloth from the Army Navy Surplus and used the 2x2 frame as a support frame for a tent shaped cover. I use spring clamps to close the ends and i can water thru the cloth.

I will know next year to begin with longer and stronger supports for my plants! lol!
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Re: Tomato plants out growing cages and over 5 ft tall

Post  LittleGardener on 8/1/2012, 3:15 am

okay I've successfully managed TALL-tomatoes before, by doing it similarly to this U-tube video on "How to String & Sucker Tomato Plants" - This will show you everything, it is excellent. Watch! Wink : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJgA4n-sCE8&feature=related (I did it by instinct 2 decades before I even heard of U-tube. Sometimes us non-experts can get it right) rock on
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Re: Tomato plants out growing cages and over 5 ft tall

Post  CapeCoddess on 8/1/2012, 12:14 pm

My tomatoes are just silly tall. I put shorter stakes next to the ones that were supposed to be the shortest in the end, but now they are the tallest, over 6 ft.

Also, I have a problem (aka addiction). I can't seem to throw out the suckers, so I stuck 'em in the MM across the front, in the corners and in any space that's available, and now THEY have flowers already, and I have way too many tomato plants.

Soon there won't be enough sun on the peppers, spinach, carrots and onions growing in the center of this box.


Oiy.
CC

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Re: Tomato plants out growing cages and over 5 ft tall

Post  floyd1440 on 8/1/2012, 2:46 pm

My grapes are well over my 6 foot trellis and will let them grow back down the mesh but need to rethink the size of my trellis for next year.

Brandywine and WV 63 are almost 5 feet and they too may go over the trellis. I know I planted mine late last year so no issue but put them in mid May this year and may have to build a new trellis for next year this fall
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