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Newbie tomato trellis question

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Newbie tomato trellis question

Post  fustian on 5/30/2011, 9:55 pm

I have quite a few tomato plants in my garden (24 Embarassed ) and have built EMT and nylon mesh trellises for them as outlined in Mel's book.

The tomato plants are doing pretty well, and I'm wondering how and when I get them onto the trellis. Do I wrap the nylon mesh around the stem? Do I tie the stem to the nylon mesh? How tall should I let the plants get before I start training them onto the trellis? The pea plants that I have seem to be "finding" the trellis all by themselves, but the tomato plants are just growing straight up in front of the trellis. The trellis is at the back of the squares I have the tomatoes in, not the middle of the squares like for the peas - is that a problem? I *could* have my husband move them, but I doubt he'd be too excited about the prospect Smile

Thanks for any help!


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Re: Newbie tomato trellis question

Post  pattipan on 5/30/2011, 10:21 pm

And the answer is..."Tall enough." Basically it's just like you said...wait until the tomato plant is tall enough to bend towards and through the first trellis space. You can tie it onto the trellis at first if you want, but I've never found it necessary. I assume your tomatoes are an indeterminate/vining type? What varieties are you growing?

See this thread. I included a couple of pics of my 6 ft+ paste tomato plants on a trellis: http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t7165-vine-tomatoes

When I plant my vining tomatoes now, I plant them at an angle going up towards the trellis, with most of the stem buried. The main root ball is still in the center of the square, but it looks like it's planted towards the back.


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Re: Newbie tomato trellis question

Post  NHGardener on 5/30/2011, 11:52 pm

fustian, I had that same question. I have beautiful boxes and the conduit and beautiful mesh netting, and then I planted my tomato plants in the middle of the square all nice, and then realized... hmmm. How is that tomato plant going to be trellised when it's a good 6" away from the trellis? Maybe we're supposed to plant them more toward the edge of the square?

Glad to hear they're bendable as they get taller, but I'd really like to see them supported from the time they're young.

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Re: Newbie tomato trellis question

Post  fustian on 5/31/2011, 10:48 am

Thanks for that link pattipan - it was very useful. Next year I'll remember the trick of planting at an angle so that the plant comes out closer to the trellis.

All of my tomatoes should be indeterminate types. This year I'm growing:

Golden Cherry
Chocolate Cherry Tomato
Red Zebra
Brandy Wine
Beefy Boy
Black Trifele
Sweet 100

About two thirds of my plants are from seed and the remainder I bought as seedlings from the local farmer's market.

NHGardener: thanks for reassuring me that I'm not the only one who was a little confused Smile Hopefully we'll both end up with trellises that look like pattipan's at the end of the season: covered with yummy tomatoes!


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