Tomato Trellis 101

30 May

Finally!  A tomato update!  I know I haven’t written about my babies in a while.  After weeks of waiting for the weather to settle down and for excavation of the side yard to be complete, they are finally in the ground and ready to spread their roots.  And none too soon; a lot of them were becoming root bound in their tiny pots.

Here is the new tomato patch after we turned the sod over, and right before we planted

Tomato enthusiasts the world over are constantly looking for a better support system than those flimsy wire cages that always end up overpriced and useless in the face of a big healthy indeterminate tomato plant.  Two years ago we made our own cages out of stray sticks, and that seemed to work well.  They were free, looked delightfully organic, and did the trick holding up the handful of plants I had.  Last year, we learned that stick tepees were no match for my insatiable lust for a bigger tomato patch.

In preparation for this year’s crop, I shopped around.  It’s kind of disgusting how many different pre-fab tomato support systems there are out there and the prices people are apparently willing to pay for them.  Being somewhat novice DIY’ers, Eric and I weren’t up to the task of mummifying the plants in chicken wire or wire fencing, but I did find something that caught my eye on both aesthetic and do-ability levels.  I watched an excellent video of a tomato trellis system and knew that would be my next tomato forest project.  It was simple enough in design and used supplies I knew I could get a hold of cheaply and could re-use for many years, and looks to be the best solution to the rambling heirloom varieties I like to grow.

One drill, 15 cedar poles, a shovel, a hoe, a ball of cotton twine, 30 tomato plants, and several hours later…

…We have the beginnings of what I hope will grow into a successful tomato forest!  There are five rows and in each row 6-7 plants.  The far right side of the patch is reserved for basil, peppers and eggplants if I can get my hands on something more interesting than the Black Beauty variety.  Through the haze of my tired sweaty exhaustion, I am incredibly excited for this year’s garden.

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2 Responses to “Tomato Trellis 101”

  1. aurora May 31, 2011 at 6:42 am #

    The virtual tomato forest becomes real! I opened the picture so I could zoom in and see the details more clearly – looks like it will be very sturdy and let those babies stretch to their full potential ;-> When do I put in my order for the first fresh fruits to go with my mozzarella?

    • fdcarlso May 31, 2011 at 8:10 am #

      As soon as I have them, you’ll know, mom!

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