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Need help with tomato support!

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Need help with tomato support!

Post  manitoak123 on 6/19/2010, 7:41 am

Grrr! My tomato plants have fallen over again! This year they snapped the poles I used for staking in half! I have this problem every year and have tried tomato cages, and staking with wood poles and the heavy duty green garden stakes but every year they become so top heavy they fall over, supports and all! I prune the bottom 18" of the stalks as well as any suckers in an effort to control them. I still get tons of fruit but it always ends up looking like a jungle! If anyone can post pics of their support systems with instructions on how they build them and keep them upright in Mel's Mix I would be grateful!
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Re: Need help with tomato support!

Post  silverbug on 6/19/2010, 7:45 am

Ooh, that's scary. I'm planning on "trellising" them, though I still don't see how that's really gonna work, but I've got it built and gonna try. I've been pruning according to Mel's outline. It's just that there isn't enough root system and the soil is too loose?

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Re: Need help with tomato support!

Post  manitoak123 on 6/19/2010, 7:50 am

I think it is the loose soil! I thought it was the root system the last few years so I stacked two boxes on top of each other this year so there is at leat 24" soil depth for deep roots. See pics:
Before planting...

About a month ago....

I'll take more pics today.....
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Re: Need help with tomato support!

Post  silverbug on 6/19/2010, 7:58 am

That's incredible. It's amazing to see how far along different parts of the country are. I'm so proud of my part sun garden and how well it's doing this year, and yet, realisticly, it's nothing to where it WOULD be if it were a full sun location. Annnyyyway. That's amazing to me that each year your tomatoes topple over, especially since you now have so much depth available for the roots. I figure if mine want to, they'll burrow down to the soil beneath and I'm ok with that. I worked it hard, and there are still good nutrients, etc... down there for the plants. What about just old fashioned stakes. Drive them in really deep and then just lash the hell out of the plants to keep them upright. I mean, honestly, they tomatoes will ripen and grow even if the plant is on the ground, so long as the roots are in the soil. I've had many big tomatoes end up growing on the lawn because the branch just couldn't keep the weight up. Still doesn't make it easy, neat or nice to deal with.

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Re: Need help with tomato support!

Post  manitoak123 on 6/19/2010, 8:37 am

Here are pics of my jungle....

Toppled over to the ground!

They were upright a few days ago....


Lots of fruit!
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Re: Need help with tomato support!

Post  camprn on 6/19/2010, 8:43 am

For determinate varieties the Florida weave may be best. An overhead support system like those used in greenhouses may be what you need for your indeterminate varieties. Click this link. There you will find a good description of various choices.
It may be helpful to prune the plants to reduce weight and get better access to the stems. Here is a photo of my friend Chris and his tomatoes with overhead support. I think you need to be logged into facebook to see the photo click me.


Last edited by camprn on 6/19/2010, 9:07 am; edited 2 times in total
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Re: Need help with tomato support!

Post  silverbug on 6/19/2010, 8:47 am

That's incredible! What a great problem to have. Nerve wracking, yes, but man, that's really pretty. LOL

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Re: Need help with tomato support!

Post  Megan on 6/19/2010, 9:53 am

The SFG type trellises use conduit anchored with rebar... could you do the same with stakes?
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Re: Need help with tomato support!

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