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Horizontal Tomatoes

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Horizontal Tomatoes

Post  H_TX_2 on 2/13/2014, 3:47 pm

When trellising tomato plants do you have to keep them growing vertical or can you guide them in a horizontal direction? If you have cattle panel could you let the plant grow upward a little bit then turn the top and guide it along the horizontal bar for a foot or two and then let it grow vertical about a foot. Then guide the top of the plant in a horizontal direction back the way it came from. Toward the end of the season your tomato vine might be 10 feet tall (or long) but only reaches a height that you can easily reach. I have no idea if this going back and forth with the vine would cause problems getting moisture and nutrients up the vine. Has anyone tried something like this?


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Re: Horizontal Tomatoes

Post  sanderson on 2/13/2014, 4:34 pm

Basically, yes. Through careful pruning of suckers you can make a tomato plant 10' tall or long easily. The clusters of tomatoes will grow along the main stem in successive clusters with successive ripening. If you want to make a sharp turn, you might try topping the main stem and letting a sucker that is growing in the direction you want, become the new main stem.

I had a Roma that grew 8' tall and then spread out over horizontal boards as supports. The height and length did not seem to be a problem as far as getting nutrients or water. I wish I had a good photo of the final massive plant.


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Re: Horizontal Tomatoes

Post  camprn on 2/13/2014, 5:14 pm

Here is an article not associated with the photo above.



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Re: Horizontal Tomatoes

Post  sanderson on 2/13/2014, 6:40 pm

There's a photo of tomatoes growing up am arched cattle panel. With modification in training the tomato vines, they could be made to hang down through the cage.



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Re: Horizontal Tomatoes

Post  southern gardener on 2/13/2014, 6:41 pm

we sort of did that a few years ago. Plants normally want to grow up, not across, so you have to keep pulling them horizontal which is fairly easy. I like the above idea of using the suckers to make the "sharp turns" to avoid snapping your main stem. Good luck!!

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Re: Horizontal Tomatoes

Post  walshevak on 2/13/2014, 9:24 pm

taken 10/3/2012.  2 tomatoes in buckets on a cattle panel.  Could have done a better job of training but I was gone for 2 months in the middle of summer.   Neighbor wasn't able to keep them suckered, but the June pic is trained to 1 main stem then allowed to branch to 2 stems at the curve of the panel.

Here they are on 6/1 just getting started.  Watermelons on the other side.



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Re: Horizontal Tomatoes

Post  Marc Iverson on 2/13/2014, 11:08 pm

Wow camprn that's a heck of a photo! That tomato looks more like a tree, and the whole horizontal thing looks so cool. Must be heck to clean up when they fall off, though.

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Re: Horizontal Tomatoes

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