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I'm stringing my tomatoes this year.

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I'm stringing my tomatoes this year.

Post  quiltbea on 6/25/2010, 12:42 pm

Last year I staked my tomatoes. This spring I watched a video of Gardening Naturally and Eliot Coleman used string. I thought I'd try it.

I have 7-ft green fence posts as the back two sides of my 4-foot raised beds already, for when I need to trellis peas and beans, so all I had to do was wire a wooden stake across the top. After I planted my seedlings, I tied twine to the top rail and to the other end I tied an anchor pin which I pushed into the soil. Now when they start growing, I just twist the tomato around the twine and its a done thing. I love it. Its easy and no more twist ties, clips or worrying about sagging. A simple twist of the wrist and its done. I walk among my tomatoes and just give a twist when they start growing a bit more.
url=http://www.servimg.com/image_preview.php?i=152&u=15016226][/url]
Here's a closer view. I hope you can see my tomatoes and the twine. Its regular garden twine I got in a seed catalog and used for my peas and beans last year but this year I'm using trellis netting instead and like it a lot better than twine for peas.
The determinates I'm treating differently since they harvest all about the same time and don't grow indefinitely.

For these 3 Oregon Springs I have the inexpensive tomato cages and hope they are suffiecient. The plants are heavy with blossoms and green fruit right now and they are working fine.
I'll let you know later in the season how the stringing works when my tomatoes are large and heavy with fruit.

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BEA

Post  boffer on 6/25/2010, 1:04 pm

please check your PM!!!

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Re: I'm stringing my tomatoes this year.

Post  quiltbea on 6/25/2010, 2:50 pm

I sometimes have the url showing with my pictures and Boffer has been kind enuf to tell me what to do to eliminate that. I don't dare try it on the ones already posted, but will do so next time I post a picture.
Thanks Boffer. You are a big help to this computer-challenged grandmother.

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Re: I'm stringing my tomatoes this year.

Post  FarmerValerie on 4/17/2011, 10:46 am

I just found a GREAT video on Suckering & Stringing your tomaoes. I wanted to trelis them, but have run out of things to use, and budget is tight so I decided to string them this year (2011). This is the best video on suckering I have found to date. Also, at the end of the video she shows you how to pollinate your tomatoes using the string.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJgA4n-sCE8&feature=related

This is done in a greenhouse, but as QB showed you can use this method in your SFG.

I dedicate this to acara and Jaybird.

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Re: I'm stringing my tomatoes this year.

Post  Old Hippie on 4/17/2011, 11:29 am

Thanks FV. That is a great video. Helped me a LOT.

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Re: I'm stringing my tomatoes this year.

Post  FarmerValerie on 4/17/2011, 11:32 am

YW, it helped me too, as I am going to have to string my maters. I'm thinking of building a frame (ripped 2x4's which we do have on hand) and stinging that way, then next year when I rotate I have a trelis frame. I'll try to keep pics posted of my progress.

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Re: I'm stringing my tomatoes this year.

Post  Ha-v-v on 4/17/2011, 11:53 am

@FarmerValerie wrote:I just found a GREAT video on Suckering & Stringing your tomaoes. I wanted to trelis them, but have run out of things to use, and budget is tight so I decided to string them this year (2011). This is the best video on suckering I have found to date. Also, at the end of the video she shows you how to pollinate your tomatoes using the string.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJgA4n-sCE8&feature=related

This is done in a greenhouse, but as QB showed you can use this method in your SFG.

I dedicate this to acara and Jaybird.

Just an awesome video !!! Perfect.
Ha-v-v

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Re: I'm stringing my tomatoes this year.

Post  quiltbea on 4/17/2011, 1:21 pm

That was a great video. Thanks.

I string my tomatoes and love the ease of it all but I learned something about suckering so thanks for sharing that video.

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Re: I'm stringing my tomatoes this year.

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 4/17/2011, 1:31 pm

I used to have a couple of neighbors that strung their toms. It worked fine for them. I'm sure you'll have plenty of success, too.

Sheesh, now I have 3 vids to watch....lol.

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Re: I'm stringing my tomatoes this year.

Post  middlemamma on 4/17/2011, 3:32 pm

@BackyardBirdGardner wrote:Sheesh, now I have 3 vids to watch....lol.

Rolling Eyes Whiner.

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Re: I'm stringing my tomatoes this year.

Post  Old Hippie on 4/17/2011, 5:28 pm

+1


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Re: I'm stringing my tomatoes this year.

Post  jbh29 on 4/17/2011, 9:24 pm

Loved that video!


Funny story about determinant / indeterminant tomatoes. I didn't know what this meant while I was looking at seeds in the store. So I asked a couple older folks also looking at seeds and they couldn't tell me. So I bought my tomato seeds (some det. & some indet.). I next asked a group of ladies I had lunch with that day and only one of them "knew". She said determinant you could save the seeds for next year and indet. you couldn't. I thought this was a bit odd, but since I had no clue I just went with her answer. Now, thanks to this video, I know what det. & indet. really means! I can't wait to share with my ladies group! Wink And I can't wait to properly take care of my determinant tomatoes. I have always suckered - not knowing you shouldn't always!


One other thing before I turn this post into a novel... When you form a cross bar to suport the top end of the string, what are you staking the bottom end to since I don't think you want to sink a stake through the weed cover under the MM? And, it seems you would want to leave some slack in the string so over time of winding around the tomato it doesn't get too tight? AND... how high do you set the top bar?

(ok, that was 3 more things...)

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Re: I'm stringing my tomatoes this year.

Post  FarmerValerie on 4/17/2011, 9:40 pm

I'm going to be using ripped 2x4's (2x4's run through a table saw to be 2" sq) nailed (unless I can sneak the drill from the truck) to the box, and probably a board run across the box. I'm not sure exactly how this is going to turn out, as what usually happens is the day I go out to use the supplies I have been given permission to use, got hauled off to a job.

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Re: I'm stringing my tomatoes this year.

Post  quiltbea on 4/17/2011, 10:13 pm

You can string a wire across one side to the other and screw it into the wood of your bed or wire it to your trellis poles or you can use narrow wooden stakes like tomato stakes or wood lathe screwed to your boxes at both sides.

I tried using those upside down U's hammered into the soil and that didn't work. They came up with the winding stress on the string.

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Re: I'm stringing my tomatoes this year.

Post  shannon1 on 4/18/2011, 1:19 am

I used string before as that was one of the ways Mel taught us in the first book and it worked great for even the toms with the largest fruit, better boys and lemmon boys. Just bite the bullet and cut the vines when they reach the top. I know it's hard when they look so happy but they will brake if you don't.

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Re: I'm stringing my tomatoes this year.

Post  FarmerValerie on 4/18/2011, 8:04 am

Question about suckers, if you let them get big enough (say 3"-4") can you attempt to root them and get a new plant. Seems like I have read or heard you can, but cannot remember. I only have 4 of my fave tom plant, and want more.

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Re: I'm stringing my tomatoes this year.

Post  Ha-v-v on 4/18/2011, 8:08 am

@FarmerValerie wrote:Question about suckers, if you let them get big enough (say 3"-4") can you attempt to root them and get a new plant. Seems like I have read or heard you can, but cannot remember. I only have 4 of my fave tom plant, and want more.

I take cuttings from tomatoes to make new plants. My cousins daughter used a green coke bottle and it did a faster job of growing roots than the clear. That was a cool experiment. I plan on taking cuttings from mine to make new plants to share with folks and to save them for me. My plants are too close together to harvest true seeds I would think. I have a Mr. Stripey in an beer bottle as we speak next to the main plant started for some folks.

Ha-v-v

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Re: I'm stringing my tomatoes this year.

Post  FarmerValerie on 4/18/2011, 8:20 am

How far apart should they be to save seeds? This is something we are striving to do. I have some seeds I've saved, but want to get to where we only have to buy a few things.

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Re: I'm stringing my tomatoes this year.

Post  Ha-v-v on 4/18/2011, 9:13 am

@FarmerValerie wrote:How far apart should they be to save seeds? This is something we are striving to do. I have some seeds I've saved, but want to get to where we only have to buy a few things.

See thats the thing. I remember reading how far apart they have to be, but cant remember off the top of my head. (I will search it out here shortly again and let you know what I find) I know that later this season one of my goals (goal I hope to achieve) is to take the ones I want and use 5 gallon buckets or something to that effect and put the plants where I can easily get to them to water and hopefully harvest at least one or two fruit to harvest the seeds. Right now I have given my father in law a German Queen tomato plant and he is no where near my garden, I will get a a fruit from that.

Thankfully I live in the south with a longer growing season to help me to achieve my goals Smile as well as to help me learn at my pace.

I will let you know the pages I find on how far apart. Im on planting mode at the moment lolol more taters go in today.
:-D
Ha-v-v

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Re: I'm stringing my tomatoes this year.

Post  FarmerValerie on 4/18/2011, 9:34 am

Take your time, mine are going to have to go in where I have space this year. Warm weather is upon us and these things need to go out as soon as they are ready. I too am putting things out, actually spending more time in the garden than planning or talking about it. Speaking of which, one more cup of coffee and I have several projects that are calling me, before more rain hits tomorrow. Ha-v-v, watch your local forcast, when it leaves here, it's headed your way.

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Re: I'm stringing my tomatoes this year.

Post  Ha-v-v on 4/18/2011, 9:40 am

@FarmerValerie wrote:Take your time, mine are going to have to go in where I have space this year. Warm weather is upon us and these things need to go out as soon as they are ready. I too am putting things out, actually spending more time in the garden than planning or talking about it. Speaking of which, one more cup of coffee and I have several projects that are calling me, before more rain hits tomorrow. Ha-v-v, watch your local forcast, when it leaves here, it's headed your way.

Yep supposed to have some rain tomorrow, Im always grateful for the watering job to be taken from me Smile Just always tell the strong winds to skip me. Smile
Ha-v-v
P.S. yes I talk to the weather too lolol

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Re: I'm stringing my tomatoes this year.

Post  FarmerValerie on 4/18/2011, 9:44 am

Honey, I do rain dances in the drought, and then stand in the rain when we get a much needed rain. Heck I tell my plants to drink up when it's raining, yes I'm out there with them. I still puddle hop too.

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Re: I'm stringing my tomatoes this year.

Post  Ha-v-v on 4/18/2011, 9:46 am

@FarmerValerie wrote:Honey, I do rain dances in the drought, and then stand in the rain when we get a much needed rain. Heck I tell my plants to drink up when it's raining, yes I'm out there with them. I still puddle hop too.

lolol good to know Im not alone Smile
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Re: I'm stringing my tomatoes this year.

Post  Blackrose on 4/18/2011, 10:35 am

@Ha-v-v wrote:
@FarmerValerie wrote:Honey, I do rain dances in the drought, and then stand in the rain when we get a much needed rain. Heck I tell my plants to drink up when it's raining, yes I'm out there with them. I still puddle hop too.

lolol good to know Im not alone Smile
Ha-v-v

My 3 yo would love you two! Puddles are her favourite thing. It's extremely difficult to keep her out of them when she's wearing nice shoes. Very Happy

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Re: I'm stringing my tomatoes this year.

Post  Coelli on 3/27/2013, 9:11 pm

I'm stringing my tomatoes too, but I'm using a nylon twine - and it just occurred to me that maybe it's too thin and will cut the vines if it's windy? Any thoughts on that - should I look for thicker twine?

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