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Trellising Tomato Plants

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Trellising Tomato Plants

Post  BigTerp on 5/18/2015, 10:56 am

So it's getting about that time in my growing season to start thinking about replacing my cool season plants with warm season plants. One of those will be tomatoes replacing 2 squares of spinach. I have a 10' tall trellis on the north side of my 4x4 SFG. The left 2 squares currently house peas, the right 2 squares is where my tomatoes will be going. But I have a few questions regarding tomatoes in a SFG and trellising them. First of all, is 1 plant per square OK? Or should I use 2 squares per plant? I'm planning on getting indeterminate tomatoes so I can train them up my trellis and not have such a bushy mess. As far as trellising and pruning what should I be doing? I've done some reading on single and double vine tomato growing/pruning, but not really sure how to go about it or if that is even the best way to grow them. I plan to just weave my plants up the trellis as they grow. But need to figure out if I should be pruning everything back but one or two of my strongest vines to keep thing manageable. Suggestions? Advice? Thanks!!!!

Here's a picture from about a week ago. Everything is doing great!! You can see my trellis string in the back. Need to add my vertical nylon rope to my right two squares before I plant my tomatoes.

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Re: Trellising Tomato Plants

Post  talentetta on 5/18/2015, 12:38 pm

I have good success with indeterminates 1 per square, but I diligently pinch out the suckers that grow right in the crotch of the Y stem. You can wait a few weeks after planting before you need the trellis.  I like them to grow a foot or so before starting to weave them in. You get more vertical distance from the netting by leaving some room at the bottom, and starting it up higher. If you don't pinch, you'll get a wider plant that has more than 1 leader.

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Pinching tomato plants

Post  talentetta on 5/18/2015, 2:21 pm

I went out and took some pics for you. Before: notice sucker in the Y of the plant stem:

After: sucker gone

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Re: Trellising Tomato Plants

Post  BigTerp on 5/18/2015, 2:46 pm

Awesome. Thanks for the replies and pictures. I think I'll do 1 plant per square and try to end up with 2 main stems per plant. So basically I should remove all suckers, which grow at the Y of the main stem and a branch, but leave one sucker which will grow to produce my second main stem?

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Re: Trellising Tomato Plants

Post  talentetta on 5/18/2015, 3:31 pm

If you have 2 main stems from leaving a sucker, you'll have another stem to remember to pinch as it grows. It can get crowded if you do, and you might miss some. It helps to have some air space to avoid diseases, especially where it's humid. One main stem is still wall to wall greenery. You keep the energy to make more tomatoes, less leaves with 1 stem. Experiment and see what you like, though.

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Re: Trellising Tomato Plants

Post  yolos on 5/18/2015, 4:00 pm

What do you do when the main stem branches.  Not a sucker, just the stem dividing in a V.  My Brandy Boy tomatoes keep branching and now I have about 4 stems.

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Re: Trellising Tomato Plants

Post  BigTerp on 5/18/2015, 4:16 pm

@talentetta wrote:If you have 2 main stems from leaving a sucker, you'll have another stem to remember to pinch as it grows. It can get crowded if you do, and you might miss some. It helps to have some air space to avoid diseases, especially where it's humid. One main stem is still wall to wall greenery. You keep the energy to make more tomatoes, less leaves with 1 stem. Experiment and see what you like, though.

Thanks again. Sounds like one main stem might be the better way to go. Especially since I'm doing one plant per square.

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Re: Trellising Tomato Plants

Post  mollyhespra on 5/18/2015, 4:40 pm

Yolos, that happened to me year before last with one of the black toms, might have been Black Krim. It did NOT like being pinched and was quite adamant about making more suckers/splitting branches. I finally gave up in my mind and crossed off "indeterminate" and wrote "treat as determinate" on the seed package. That way, I'll remember to just let it sprawl in a cage (which is how I treat determinates) vs. try to train it up a trellis (how I do indeterminates) if I ever grow that variety again.

I don't know about Brandy Boy, but I'd suggest just picking which stem you want and going with that, unless you have the space to slap a cage around it and just let it sprawl. HTH! Smile

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Re: Trellising Tomato Plants

Post  donnainzone5 on 5/31/2015, 4:18 pm

A year or two ago, I purchased the white premium tomato trellis from SFGF.  I'm currently in the process of assembling it, and I like it so much that I hope to find one or two more.

I wonder if this item could be languishing in inventory, or of someone has one for sale?

Thanks!

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