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Horizontal netting or support for tomatoes

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Horizontal netting or support for tomatoes

Post  winfielddave on 5/27/2010, 1:05 pm

Brand new to SFG. Got the book and am really excited.
All we have planted in past years is tomatoes in a traditional garden.
This year we filled up a 4' x 4' SFG box with 16 plants.

I am looking for suggestions for supporting the plants.
I am assuming horizontally would be best.
If so, anybody have alternatives to building a framework and
putting multiple layers of the nylon netting?

Thanks.

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Re: Horizontal netting or support for tomatoes

Post  flintlock28 on 5/27/2010, 2:09 pm

This is my first year with SFG'ing also. I currently have 4 types of tomatoes (all indeterminate (vine type not bush)) on a trellis, on the North side of the 4'x4' box.

Some people use two sides of the box (North side and either west or east side) to form an "L" shaped trellis.....I think the problem becomes one of Sunlight, because if you were to use all the sides of the box to trellis on, eventually the tomatoes growth, will create a "wall" of tomatoes, that will then begin to act as a shade for some of the others.

I made the mistake years ago with a conventional garden of planting Corn on the south side.....as the corn grew, it blocked the shorter plants, and limited their growth. Probably you could trellis the North and either the West or East side, and use some other form of support for the other plants.....hope this helps.

p.s. I forgot to mention...I used the method for trellis building that Mel recommended, i.e. electrical 1/2 " conduit, along with the 7 inch Nylon square netting. The netting is extremely strong.
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Re: Horizontal netting or support for tomatoes

Post  quiltbea on 5/27/2010, 2:28 pm


I think you can see in this picture the 7' tall metal fence posts I bought at Home Dept last year. My son pounded them a foot into the ground at the two rear (north) sides. I can put twine, which you can see here, or I can put trellis netting strung between the posts. Works like a charm.

This year I strung wooden tomato stakes across the tops of the fence posts so I could use the twine method for my tomatoes this year.....you know, fastening twine to the top of the bar and to the base of the tomato and as the tomato grows, just twist it around the twine. No tying, no clips needed.
I just put the toms in this week and did the twining this morning so I don't have a picture of this yet.
I have only 6 beds with posts but they are enuf to have 4 for tomatoes in the back row and 2 for sugar snap peas during the season.
Here's a tip for you:
I used venetian blind slats to mark off my squares but I find that once the plants are in, the blinds can be removed so nothing is in the way of watering or weeding, no strings, no blinds, no boards. The blinds are only needed to mark the squares and gauge the planting holes. Redundant after that.
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Re: Horizontal netting or support for tomatoes

Post  quiltbea on 5/27/2010, 2:54 pm

I should have added that these metal fence posts have holes and hooks every six inches along their length so its easy to string twine, wire or netting between them.
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Re: Horizontal netting or support for tomatoes

Post  winfielddave on 5/27/2010, 3:16 pm

"This year we filled up a 4' x 4' SFG box with 16 plants."
I think I wasn't very clear with my comment:
All 16 plants are tomatoes.
This is why I am looking for horizontal support.

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Re: Horizontal netting or support for tomatoes

Post  Chopper on 5/27/2010, 3:35 pm

You can set up a vertical (which I think is what you mean - going up, right?) trellis in each row of squares if you really want. I use a cage and a stake for my tomatoes. Just the old fashioned round kind - 42 inch was the size that fit. And also a taller stake because I do not think 42" will be tall enough.

16 tomatoes will be quite the jungle. Luckily they turn red so you can see them amonst the green

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Re: Horizontal netting or support for tomatoes

Post  Wyldflower on 5/27/2010, 4:29 pm

Is THIS what you're looking for... the image at the bottom of the linked page?
I have no advice except to read the description and see if you can make something like what they show.

Good luck!
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Re: Horizontal netting or support for tomatoes

Post  Youngatheart on 5/27/2010, 4:51 pm

I haven't got my supports put in yet, but I have a 4x6 box with 24 tomato plants in it. I plan to use two horizontal nets...the lower one about 2 ft off the ground and the upper one about 4 ft off the ground. I'm going to put them on a frame made with gray electrical PVC pipe. I haven't seen one exactly like I have planned yet, but when I get mine finished I'll take pics...and let everyone know if or how well it works! I love trying new things.

Maybe someone who's already tried horizontal netting will see your post and share info.

Rhonda

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Re: Horizontal netting or support for tomatoes

Post  jerzyjen on 5/28/2010, 12:34 pm

I have a "tomato" box this year and I built a frame with horizontal netting, I think this is what you are looking to do.



I just got a few light weight pvc pipes and some connectors and put it over the area. I tied 2 layers of the netting across, and as the plants grow up I may add a layer on the very top as well. I think I went about 4' high.

Here's a closeup of the plants - i started pruning this week on the three largest plants.
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Re: Horizontal netting or support for tomatoes

Post  chocolatepop on 5/28/2010, 12:38 pm

I'm so gonna try this.
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Re: Horizontal netting or support for tomatoes

Post  Prestermatt on 5/28/2010, 1:32 pm

I'm doing the same thing with peas this year. So far, so good...
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Re: Horizontal netting or support for tomatoes

Post  winfielddave on 5/28/2010, 1:41 pm

@jerzyjen That is the direction I want to go.
Where did you get those 3 way corner connectors at the top of your frame
and where did you get your netting?

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Re: Horizontal netting or support for tomatoes

Post  boffer on 5/28/2010, 1:52 pm

@Prestermatt wrote:I'm doing the same thing with peas this year. So far, so good...

P,
How's it working out for you? I've been trying a similar idea for a couple years. What I'm finding is that the peas lean toward the sun, and thus grow beyond the net. Just about every other day, I have to push the stems back into the net area. Each year I have reduced the vertical space between nets; I'm now down under 12 inches. I'm ready to give up the idea.

I'm trying a new trellis concept this year, but the darn peas aren't cooperating!
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Re: Horizontal netting or support for tomatoes

Post  Megan on 5/28/2010, 2:21 pm

@ jerzyzen : How are those red trays for the tomatoes working out for you? Have you tried them before? I have been looking enviously at the red plastic tomato mulch but seems to be special order only, and I have officially blown my wad for the year.
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Re: Horizontal netting or support for tomatoes

Post  Prestermatt on 5/28/2010, 3:56 pm

@boffer wrote:
@Prestermatt wrote:I'm doing the same thing with peas this year. So far, so good...

P,
How's it working out for you? I've been trying a similar idea for a couple years. What I'm finding is that the peas lean toward the sun, and thus grow beyond the net. Just about every other day, I have to push the stems back into the net area. Each year I have reduced the vertical space between nets; I'm now down under 12 inches. I'm ready to give up the idea.

I'm trying a new trellis concept this year, but the darn peas aren't cooperating!

As I said, so far, so good. I haven't had any peas try to escape the box yet, or even get too close to the edge (which is good, since they'd get caught up in the chicken wire defensive barrier. They tend to get caught up with each other a bit, though, towards the center.

I'm using 6-7 inches between trellis layers, which may keep the peas more ordered. They tend to flop a bit once they reach 6" or so. I just added two more layers this morning.

Here's the blog where I got my inspiration for the "pea patch", though mine isn't quite as nice looking.

http://www.modernvictorygarden.com/apps/blog/categories/show/44638-vertical-growing
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Re: Horizontal netting or support for tomatoes

Post  jerzyjen on 5/28/2010, 6:32 pm

@winfielddave - I actually went to lowes and went to the plumbing area. Picked out the tube, which i think is 1/2", then played with the little connectors to get the shape i wanted to make a box. They did not have one connector piece that worked, but i found two peices that when put together accomplished the shape. it was a an elbow with a peice that came down but that didnt fit in the pipe, but i found another connector that did, sort of like an extender peice. Hard to explain, but Ill try to take a pic this weekend of the peices, i had a few extra.

FWIW - I also made a pvc structure like this in my corn box but without the trellis, cause i heard it tends to fall over as it gets bigger.

The trellis netting I bought at a garden supply, burpee sells it online and in some of the big box stores (lowes, HD), or you can buy it by the yard from the square foot foundation (sfg.com).

@megan - This is the first year im trying it. Ive got two simulataneous experiments happening in my tomato box. Tomatoes in Mels Mix vs Jersey soil and also using the trays vs not using the trays. I can't really say I know yet if it makes a different. I think i spent about 10 bucks from burpees website for a pack of 3, but again, the SFG.com store sells 3 for like 5 bucks or something.

Just to come clean, I didnt come up with this idea on my own, i saw it somewhere on someone's blog or website or FB page, i dont even remember where. This is the first time i tried doing this but I think i like it so far.

As far as peas, mine are a mess, im thinking i might try to do them in a row setup instead of 9 to a square.
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