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Tomato Spirals

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Tomato Spirals

Post  SassyScraps on 5/25/2010, 9:06 pm

Has anyone used the tomato spirals for trellising their tomatoes? How did they work?
Thanks-
Joanne
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Re: Tomato Spirals

Post  LaFee on 5/26/2010, 2:20 am

Over here, spirals are used almost exclusively...so that's what I have in my garden.

It's my first year SFG, so I can't give experience...but in a country of 60 million people (of which an enormous percentage grow tomatoes), they must work well or there would be other supports available!

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Re: Tomato Spirals

Post  Mirjam on 5/26/2010, 9:55 am

Here in holland the spirals are the only tomato-supports I can get, I have been searching for the cage-like constructions I see all over the internet, but it seems those are only sold in the US...
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Re: Tomato Spirals

Post  LaFee on 5/26/2010, 3:04 pm

Mirjam, if you really want to try it, you could make a smaller version of the support I made for my peas.

Put three or four tomato stakes (the straight metal or bamboo kind) around your tomato, then use twine to make a cage around the tomatoes.

Tie the string to one of the stakes at the bottom, then wrap it around the next stake, going around the stake two times with the string (so it doesn't slip)...then on to the next stake, and so on. You end up with a square version of a tomato cage, but it takes up almost no storage room in the winter, and you can just cut it away when it's time to cut back the tomato (ugh, I don't want to think about autumn)

You could, I suppose, use 5 or 6 stakes if you wanted it to be more round, like the cages in the US.

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Re: Tomato Spirals

Post  Jola on 5/26/2010, 5:07 pm

I used tomato spirals last year and I didn't like them at all. I grow indeterminate tomatoes but let them have some side branches, so I ended up tying branches to the spiral (since I could put only one stem in the spiral). I had to add tall stakes to keep my growing tomatoes up because they quickly outgrew the spiral.
The spirals are rather expensive here in the US and I regret buying them - even though I bought them on sale.

My favorite method is combination of cages and stalks.

I wonder what types of tomato are mainly grown in France and the Netherlands. That might explain the popularity of spirals.
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Re: Tomato Spirals

Post  LaFee on 5/26/2010, 5:28 pm

I can't speak for anybody else, but the seed I bought is a variety called Moneymaker, which is a popular indeterminate.

I think it has much more to do with the available space in the average garden (or lack thereof)...most gardens (backyards) in Europe are very small, so training things against fences and walls (espalier) and what seems like a crazy amount of pruning to Americans is the norm, because otherwise they'd have no room for anything.

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Re: Tomato Spirals

Post  herbarium on 5/26/2010, 7:50 pm

Before Mel came out with his updated version of the book I was using tomato spirals. I loved them. Now I use his trellising system for most everything but since I still have the spirals I use them for beans or flowers.

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