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12' Tomato Tower Question

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12' Tomato Tower Question

Post  donnainzone5 on 6/9/2013, 1:15 pm

I recently purchased one of these wonderful-looking trellises.

However, upon opening the package, I found that there were only two "stakes" (rather than pieces of rebar) in the kit. It seems to me that the weight of the trellis, as well as the length, would dictate the use of a total of 4 of these stakes for stability.

Does anyone have experience with this product? I REALLY need to get my tomatoes planted!
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Re: 12' Tomato Tower Question

Post  llama momma on 6/9/2013, 1:30 pm

Can't help with the trellis but I can moan with you about tomatoes needing to be planted. I pushed my maters outside with little hardening off time due to personal delays. Anyway, a bad mistake and lost 3 of them to wind and cold nights about a week ago. Fortunate to have a bunch more that were then hardened off correctly and planted a couple days ago. Those are growing well. And there are more to plant if I get buckets going... But I'm feeling guilty and silly for being far behind with transplanting. Have to hope my good growing degree days will help the plants catch up and take off.
My ground cherry was already flowering when I put it out too.
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Re: 12' Tomato Tower Question

Post  boffer on 6/9/2013, 8:40 pm

donnainzone10 wrote:I recently purchased one of these wonderful-looking trellises...

Any chance you posted a link or picture that I can't see?

I don't think that I've ever seen a 12' tomato tower.
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Re: 12' Tomato Tower Question

Post  camprn on 6/9/2013, 8:46 pm

I made a 10 foot tall tomato overhead trellis that worked pretty well. Donna, what type of tomatoes are you talkin' here?

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Re: 12' Tomato Tower Question

Post  donnainzone5 on 6/9/2013, 11:20 pm

I purchased 1 12'-WIDE tomato tower from the Foundation.

[url=http://www.servimg.com/image_preview.php?i=80&u=17741265]
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Re: 12' Tomato Tower Question

Post  boffer on 6/10/2013, 12:37 am

Ohhhh! 12 feet THAT way! Rolling Eyes who da thunk?!


How will you be installing it? Freestanding or attached to a box(es)?

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Re: 12' Tomato Tower Question

Post  gwennifer on 6/10/2013, 12:44 am

Are the legs hollow metal conduit? If so, just buy four pieces of rebar the correct diameter to fit inside the legs, pound them in nice and deep, and slide the legs over them. Should be plenty sturdy

If you just can't wait to get your tomatoes planted, install the trellis with the two included stakes, and plant your tomatoes now. Then when you get a chance, get the rebar or those u-fence posts and pound them in next to the legs and secure them together. You'll have plenty of time to do that before your tomatoes are huge and laden with heavy fruit.
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Re: 12' Tomato Tower Question

Post  donnainzone5 on 6/10/2013, 11:13 am

Boffer,

The tower will be free-standing, with the conduit slipped over the "stakes" that came with the kit.

I have a call and an e-mail in to the Foundation about the apparently missing stakes.

Worst comes to worst, I can always buy some rebar.
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Re: 12' Tomato Tower Question

Post  boffer on 6/10/2013, 12:26 pm

Keeping in mind that I'm prone to over-building, here's what I would do.

I would use the two stakes on the ends, then put 6-7 foot T or U posts next to the two center verticals to tie them to.

I wouldn't be comfortable with 4 stakes at the bottom, unless the soil is compacted rock hard. In softer soil, once the trellis is loaded with plants, the right rain and wind could get the trellis wiggling, loosening up, and leaning.

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Re: 12' Tomato Tower Question

Post  donnainzone5 on 6/10/2013, 12:32 pm

Boffer,

Unless soaking wet, this clay/sand soil is rock-hard. In fact, I'm going to have to soak the spots where the stakes will go, just to pound them in.
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Re: 12' Tomato Tower Question

Post  camprn on 6/10/2013, 12:34 pm

I bet the U or T posts would be the best bet then. That's what I use to secure my trellises.

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Re: 12' Tomato Tower Question

Post  boffer on 6/10/2013, 12:38 pm

Just a reminder: "Call before you dig". Just kidding.

But if you're putting your trellis close to the house, watch out for buried utilities.

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Re: 12' Tomato Tower Question

Post  donnainzone5 on 6/10/2013, 12:44 pm

I called before "they" dug, quite some time ago. Apparently, the utilities are mostly buried in the flower beds.

Right now, they irrigation guy is out digging, so I think everything should be fine.

Boffer, this is a really dumb question, but as a reformed city girl with a country background, I never really learned to do many outdoor things. How do I install a t- or u-post?
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Re: 12' Tomato Tower Question

Post  boffer on 6/10/2013, 12:51 pm

That's what 'handymen' are for! Wink

For just a few posts, a sledge hammer will do the job.

For multiple posts, a good investment is a post driver. They're really cheap these days.
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Re: 12' Tomato Tower Question

Post  donnainzone5 on 6/10/2013, 12:54 pm

Yeah, if only I could find an inexpensive handyman who'd stick around! The last one moved away. Any volunteers? Laughing
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Re: 12' Tomato Tower Question

Post  camprn on 6/10/2013, 1:04 pm

@boffer wrote:That's what 'handymen' are for! Wink

For just a few posts, a sledge hammer will do the job.

For multiple posts, a good investment is a post driver. They're really cheap these days.


donnainzone10 wrote:Yeah, if only I could find an inexpensive handyman who'd stick around! The last one moved away. Any volunteers? Laughing
silly me silly me

Gimme a break! Donna take your own hammer out there and give it a go, you will have success. You must.

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Re: 12' Tomato Tower Question

Post  donnainzone5 on 6/10/2013, 1:13 pm

Regular or sledge?
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Re: 12' Tomato Tower Question

Post  camprn on 6/10/2013, 1:16 pm

donnainzone10 wrote:Regular or sledge?
Are you really asking me that question? Really? thinking

Try the claw hammer first and if that doesn't work, use a small sledge hammer. hiddenID

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Re: 12' Tomato Tower Question

Post  CapeCoddess on 6/10/2013, 1:17 pm

I use the heaviest regular hammer I have and put a small piece of wood to hit on top of any metals, like rebar and t-bars, so as not to mishapen them...or miss and hit my finger. Laughing

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Re: 12' Tomato Tower Question

Post  donnainzone5 on 6/10/2013, 1:22 pm

Camprn,

Sorry. I thought I'd made it clear that I'm pretty ignorant about these things.

I DO have a claw hammer and other tools, although I seldom use them.

My efforts at humor today are sadly lacking.
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Re: 12' Tomato Tower Question

Post  boffer on 6/10/2013, 1:54 pm

The heavier the hammer, the easier the task. I understand there's a limit to how heavy a hammer you can safely use.

When starting to drive a post, the top will be over your head, so a step-stool might be necessary, as it is difficult to hammer effectively over one's head in a downward swing.
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Re: 12' Tomato Tower Question

Post  camprn on 6/10/2013, 1:58 pm

@boffer wrote:

When starting to drive a post, the top will be over your head, so a step-stool might be necessary, as it is difficult to hammer effectively over one's head in a downward swing.
Unless you use a 4 foot U post.

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Re: 12' Tomato Tower Question

Post  donnainzone5 on 6/10/2013, 2:00 pm

True that.

I may have to level a couple of small portions of the lawn to use my step stool, though. The darned grass and/or ground is very uneven. I risk breaking an ankle every time I walk on the lawn. My neighbors have similar complaints.
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Re: 12' Tomato Tower Question

Post  camprn on 6/10/2013, 2:01 pm

donnainzone10 wrote:Camprn,

Sorry. I thought I'd made it clear that I'm pretty ignorant about these things.

I DO have a claw hammer and other tools, although I seldom use them.

My efforts at humor today are sadly lacking.
No worries, it's Monday and I'm taking everything literally. Wink No fretting about it ok?

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Re: 12' Tomato Tower Question

Post  boffer on 6/10/2013, 2:09 pm

(That's not me in the pic by the way. Although I have a similar hairline!)

I was using a post driver like the one shown, reaching over my head to get the post started, when my bad shoulder gave out, and the driver fell on my head. Lot's of blood, big lump, saw stars, kept working. It left a healthy scar, but I'm too old to worry about cosmetics anymore.

I felt pretty dumb about it. So imagine how I felt about six months later when the same thing happened! Embarassed

I happened to mention my stupidity to my neighbor one day, and he was honest enough to admit to doing the same thing!

They should put warning labels on those things to wear a hard hat! Razz
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