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Stakes vs Cages

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Stakes vs Cages

Post  jerzyjen on 5/8/2011, 10:27 am

Is there anyone that just stakes their tomatoes without cages in their SFG? Last year I set up this PVC frame with trellis netting cage system, which I liked a little better than the conduit trellis as in the book, but this year I was thinking about possibly just staking them.

I should specify that I'm only growing indeterminates, some slicers and some paste type. More specifically, if this helps, Rutgers, Cherokee Purple, Virginia Sweets, Opalka, San Marzano & Mama Leone.

Opinions?
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Re: Stakes vs Cages

Post  boog1 on 5/8/2011, 11:03 am

i've done both an hated both. this year i was thinkin of tryin to trellis them mostly out of curiosty, likly the same as you with pvc sence its fairly cheap or use my f-i-l table saw and rip a 2X4 into 3/4 X 3/4 in. pieces and glue and screw it togather.and or both. jus ta see witch holds up under the strain of the plants.most of the plants i grew last year were close to 5 ft. tall and 3 feet in diamiter after last year i thought about makin cages out of 3/8th stainless steel round stock the cost was a tad high. fer my liking jus my 2 cents.


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Re: Stakes vs Cages

Post  Lavender Debs on 5/8/2011, 11:28 am

Oh, me, me!!

Well, sort of.

I have these monster things that I can drape plastic over for a tomato camp-out in early summer and tie my tomato vines to in the heat of late summer (or what we in the PNW call heat in comparison to what we have the rest of the year). Even so, I have a pile of short 2x2"s from a neighbors deck remodle that I plant next to each tomato. The streach to the first rung of the trellis is sort of high for toddler tomatoes and the 2x2 helps guide them on the journey up.

The tomatoes eventually went up and over the trellis. (July 2010)
A closer look. I had already removed most of the deck rails by July.
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Re: Stakes vs Cages

Post  quiltbea on 5/8/2011, 3:49 pm

I use all methods, depending on where they're growing, the types, and what's available to use.

I use stakes for determinates and indeterminates in the community garden.
I use stakes for cherry tomatoes in Pots.
I use stakes for all tomatoes in my flower garden.
I use cages for determinates in SFG and in Pots.
I use twining mostly and staking (if its note near a fence post) for indeterminates in SFG.

I prefer the twining method above all other methods. Its easy and cheap once you get your boxes set up. I put 2 fence posts in both north ends of my boxes for twining and for trellising peas, beans,
Across the tops I wired poles from one end to the other.
Across the bottom in the lower fence holes I connected a wire from one end to the other.

here's the fence posts and poles in this picture.

This is a picture of my cuke tower made from concrete reinforcing wire. If I didn't use it for cukes, I'd use it for toms. Its very strong.
You can see a twine on the right. That's where I twine my toms around the twine.
I attach a twine to the top and to the bottom. I then just gently wind the tomato plant as it grows, about every week or so, one complete turn. Its the easiest method I found and I love it.

When it comes to tomatoes, for me I use them all.
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Re: Stakes vs Cages

Post  milaneyjane on 5/8/2011, 4:21 pm

I have done the round cages---they were a pain. Currently I use the Ultimato (sp?) cages/posts. LOVE THEM!!! Was going to pick up more and about fell over as they are now up to $8 each at both Walmart and HomeDepot. It is the three posts you put in around the plant and then snap on cross supports as the plant grows. This year I am planting them along my cattle panel fencing along with my peas. Once the peas are done I am going to tie the tomatoe to the fencing.
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Re: Stakes vs Cages

Post  jbh29 on 5/8/2011, 6:44 pm

I'm sold on stringing indeterminates. Saw a video post somewhere (I'll look and see if I can find it) and it seemed very easy and fool proof. I can't wait to try it.

Last year I used those tomato cages (the 2-3 layered round wire things you stick in the ground... I think those are cages, anyway...) and I had indeterminate tomatoes crawling all over my beds. They wanted to go up, up, up! It was a huge lesson for me.
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Re: Stakes vs Cages

Post  jbh29 on 5/8/2011, 6:47 pm

I found that video. Hope it helps. (I hope I did the link right.)

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

Post  Debora Cadene on 4/22/2012, 11:33 am

What a great video clip.
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Re: Stakes vs Cages

Post  quiltbea on 4/22/2012, 11:50 am

@jbh.....that's the method I use mostly. I only use cages and stakes where I don't have my twine fixtures erected.



The twine runs from wire strung between posts across the bottom to the poles across the top of my tall fence posts. Easiest method I found yet. I can also switch to trellis netting when I rotate the following year to peas or pole beans.

I'm going to do my cukes this year as well but in the comm garden I still need to use cages and stakes.



tomato cages worked pretty well for my Bushy Cukes in the comm garden last year.
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Re: Stakes vs Cages

Post  yolos on 4/22/2012, 12:12 pm

For those of you using twine to wrap around the tomato stem, how do you secure it to the ground. Two videos I have watched, tied the twine to the bottom of the tomato stem. The lady in the above video does not show the very bottom of the twine. Is it secured to the ground or the bottom of the tomato stem.
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Re: Stakes vs Cages

Post  quiltbea on 4/22/2012, 12:34 pm

@yolos.....I stretch a piece of wire across from one fence post to the other about 8-10 inches up from the ground. I attach the twine to that and then tie it, no slackening, to the crossbar across the top. I would be afraid to attach the twine to the plant itself. The pressure on the plant later as it grows must be tremendous. I'd be afraid it would break the plant.

Before I strung wire across last year, I had pushed long 'U' shaped thingies into the ground and attached my twine to those. They worked temporarily but were easily pulled out of the ground so I had to keep pushing them back in so I knew I had to find a more secure way. Wiring works best for me.
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Re: Stakes vs Cages

Post  mrwes40 on 4/22/2012, 12:56 pm

yolos wrote:For those of you using twine to wrap around the tomato stem, how do you secure it to the ground. Two videos I have watched, tied the twine to the bottom of the tomato stem. The lady in the above video does not show the very bottom of the twine. Is it secured to the ground or the bottom of the tomato stem.

A wooden stake in placed into the ground between two plants. The string goes from the stake around the bottom couple of feet of the plant, and then up the the ceiling. I plan on attaching it to a trellis bar that runs across the box. Good lesson on indeterminent and determinent tomatoes -- never knew the difference.

Bill
Zone 6 (CT)
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Re: Stakes vs Cages

Post  camprn on 4/22/2012, 5:16 pm

I just tie it to the plant stem in a half hitch or two, with about 18" extra line at the end. I can loosen the hitch and adjust the tension on the line as the plant grows.

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