The Ultimate Tomato Trellis

comments (1) May 27th, 2009 in Gallery

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curryleaf curryleaf, member
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Four little plants, all in a row. I had to reduce the size of the trellis to fit the long boards of lumber in my car so instead of five plants, I only put in four.
A-frame complete. I didnt splurge for an outdoor-friendly hardwood and used construction-grade lumber (not pressure treated though). If the design works out well though, maybe I can make it from cedar or redwood in the future.
Grow UP little plant. Now, well see how this trellis business works. In the background you can see some of the industrial-strength, rusted cages that I used last year. I inhertited them with my plot.
Four little plants, all in a row. I had to reduce the size of the trellis to fit the long boards of lumber in my car so instead of five plants, I only put in four.Click To Enlarge

Four little plants, all in a row. I had to reduce the size of the trellis to fit the long boards of lumber in my car so instead of five plants, I only put in four.


Last year I watched an eye-opening video about pruning tomatoes--getting them to grow high not wide. This encourages air circulation to avoid disease. It also keeps the fruit off the ground.

My tomato patch, on the other hand, turned into a giant overflowing mess last year as the plants broke free of their little wiry cages and drooped all over each other.

Lee Reich's method sounded like a stress-free dream.

Buy vining tomatoes
The first step was to buy indeterminate not determinate tomatoes, which, by the way, took me forever to remember which was which... makes me wonder why they don't just call them vine v. bush tomatoes?

But, I did my research and planned my tomato purchases buying vine tomatoes for my garden and bush tomatoes for the pots on my deck.

The tomato trellis
My next challenge: How to support the plants? None of the tomato cones and support poles I saw seemed sturdy enough to combat the vine-y creep I ran into last year. Then I read up on this A-frame tomato trellis. It seemed like an awful lot of construction for my little tomato plants, but it seemed like a surefire support structure to get them to climb into the sky.

So this weekend, my husband and I took a trip to the local big box. We bought lumber, a steel rod, screws, and twine. After a couple hours in the basement sawing, measuring, and drilling, the apparatus was complete!

We hauled it out to the garden and assembled it. Ta da! As someone commented on the article page, it was like a big ol' kids swing set. Later, I planted my little indeterminate plants at the base and strung up some twine.

Now let's see what happens! I'm interested to see how it will be weaving them up the strings. Hopefully the plants will climb and I can prune them as Reich prescribes. Hopefully year two as a tomato gardener is more successful than year number one was.

Now that my trellis dilemma is resolved, I can start worrying about how to fertilize them and how often I need to water.

What do you folks out there in cyberspace do to support your tomatoes? I didn't read about it until later, but I like the concept of the ladder, tripod, and Florida weave from this article.

Beefsteak tomatoes Get more info on growing tomatoes:

Growing Trouble-Free Cherry Tomatoes
Selecting and Growing Great Paste Tomatoes
How to Grow Beefsteak Tomatoes 
The Road to Healthy, Productive Tomatoes 
• How to Support Tomatoes 
Video: How to Prune Tomatoes 


More Information: My Own Design
posted in: Gallery, tomatoes, tomato trellis

Comments (1)

mrgardenboy writes: wow great idea!
Posted: 7:44 am on March 2nd
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