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Indeterminate tomato advice needed

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Lavender Debs
walshevak
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Post  givvmistamps 4/21/2012, 11:50 pm

They are really cool, aren't they! I might not be able to resist ripping out the ugly pipe and replacing it...but I'll have to do it soon if I do that. My tomato is getting big FAST!!!

I like the bean idea; that would be fun.
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Post  camprn 4/21/2012, 11:55 pm

I was trying to find out how tall these spiral stakes are (I think they are 4' or 5'). I found THIS SITE Shocked
now I'm on the hunt for ones made in USA Very Happy

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Post  Too Tall Tomatoes 4/22/2012, 12:02 am

I have this link in my ever-growing list of gardening links....

http://www.itsatormato.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&layout=blog&id=4&Itemid=55

It gives you instructions to make one of those spiral tomato cage/stakes.


Last edited by Too Tall Tomatoes on 4/22/2012, 12:20 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post  camprn 4/22/2012, 12:17 am

@Too Tall Tomatoes wrote:I have this link into my ever-growing list of gardening links....

http://www.itsatormato.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&layout=blog&id=4&Itemid=55

It gives you instructions to make one of those spiral tomato cage/stakes.
That's cool and you can make it as tall as you want it to be. Very Happy

____________________________

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https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t1306-other-gardening-books



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Post  Too Tall Tomatoes 4/22/2012, 12:23 am

@camprn wrote:
@Too Tall Tomatoes wrote:I have this link into my ever-growing list of gardening links....

http://www.itsatormato.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&layout=blog&id=4&Itemid=55

It gives you instructions to make one of those spiral tomato cage/stakes.
That's cool and you can make it as tall as you want it to be. Very Happy

To make those for my 15 tomato plants would cost me a small fortune. I'm doing a Florida Weave instead

However, I could experiment with just one of those spirals What a Face
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Post  givvmistamps 4/22/2012, 12:32 am

Camp, I found that website, too. I definitely don't need 3000. What a Face So I kept looking. The one I found at Lowe's is 72", which I assume includes the part you have to stick into the soil. Of course the website doesn't say where it was made. I really ought to be more careful about that.

TTT, that Tormato is AWESOME!!! I do believe I would like to have one of those...in the eco-friendly/hard times version here: http://www.itsatormato.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&layout=blog&id=11&Itemid=68
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Post  Too Tall Tomatoes 4/22/2012, 12:35 am

@givvmistamps wrote:Camp, I found that website, too. I definitely don't need 3000. What a Face So I kept looking. The one I found at Lowe's is 72", which I assume includes the part you have to stick into the soil. Of course the website doesn't say where it was made. I really ought to be more careful about that.

TTT, that Tormato is AWESOME!!! I do believe I would like to have one of those...in the eco-friendly/hard times version here: http://www.itsatormato.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&layout=blog&id=11&Itemid=68

Now that's what I call slick! A cheapie version that a tool fool like me can build.

Thanks for that link! What a Face


Last edited by camprn on 4/22/2012, 7:13 am; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : changed potential offensive wording)
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Post  givvmistamps 4/22/2012, 12:54 am

I thought it was so cool that I explored beyond the first part you linked to, through directions (which I emailed to my husband so he'd see it when he wakes up), then noticed the "New for 2010" on the main menu so I just had to see what was "new." What a Face I like the fact that you can use wood, so not end up slipping and drilling a hole in yourself instead when trying to drill a hole in a round object! Embarassed The wood version is one I could make myself; the PVC I would never try.
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Post  floyd1440 4/22/2012, 6:57 am

@camprn wrote:
@Too Tall Tomatoes wrote:I have this link into my ever-growing list of gardening links....

http://www.itsatormato.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&layout=blog&id=4&Itemid=55

It gives you instructions to make one of those spiral tomato cage/stakes.
That's cool and you can make it as tall as you want it to be. Very Happy

WOW.........

I like those but just spent all my money in building a trellis with 7x7 nylon mesh and people are coming up with alternate ways to grow vegetables vertically so why even use the trellis sytem?

You can make it as tall as you want? What supports it? I can see putting rebar inside the PVC at the bottom, which would make it somewhat stable, but I don't see any support structure on top?

Is there a trellis frame that supports these spiral cages?

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Post  walshevak 4/22/2012, 7:02 am

Here is my son's experiment this year on trellising in buckets.

Indeterminate tomato advice needed - Page 2 Dscn0443

Indeterminate tomato advice needed - Page 2 Dscn0444

There are 2 bricks on top of the "foot" in the buckets to help with stability, but I told him to be prepared to move those buckets againt the house wall in windy conditions.

He did this so he could move the tomatos to a filtered shade area during July and August. Last year the filtered shade tomatos are the only ones that lasted. He calls it his portable tomato garden.

Kay

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Post  givvmistamps 4/22/2012, 7:19 am

That's a great idea Kay! I didn't even realize those were in the buckets when you showed off the tomatoes before. I planned to move my tomatoes under my maple tree when it gets really hot; it's dappled sun there, so hopefully that'll help.
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Post  floyd1440 4/22/2012, 7:46 am

Kay



Your son did a fine job in building those. Put a lot of effort into the bases looks like it took a lot of measuring, cutting, glueing, to make those bases.

But are you planning to install the spiral tomotoes cages? I must assume that if they are portable.

Do you plan to put rebar inside your PVC pipe of do you think it is strong enough?
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Post  walshevak 4/22/2012, 8:09 am

There is no rebar in the PVC, but we stepped up to 3/4" for strength. There are holes drilled every foot with wooden dowels in them to give him something to tie the tomatos up with. Planning to treat the poles like strings and wind the one stem of the tomatos up using the pegs to help hold them up. The feet are not glued, just fitted together. Windy conditions is the only thing I worry about. They are definately going to be top heavy. But I think I may have an idea for that, 5 ft EMT trellis frames sitting on rebar on each side of the row of buckets so they can only tilt so far.

Kay

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Post  Lavender Debs 4/22/2012, 9:55 am

@walshevak wrote:Here is my son's experiment this year on trellising in buckets.

Indeterminate tomato advice needed - Page 2 Dscn0443


Kay

Kewl .....I've said it before, I'll say it again. PVC is the new Tinker Toy.
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Post  AvaDGardner 5/1/2012, 9:27 pm

Kay, the bricks may not be needed inside the bucket. The dirt will add a lot of weight. When it gets windy you can put bricks on top of the buckets (maybe a board across the buckets and bricks on top of them) that will make it weighed down.

Depending on where you put the buckets in the shade will also effect it. If you have sandbags, you could anchor them in. It might be more effective than thin rebar.

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Post  Coelli 2/19/2013, 1:15 am

Sorry for bumping this old thread, but I'm in a crunch for space and all of my tomatoes will be going in buckets this year. They are nearly all indeterminate because I'm not very smart. Very Happy

I have looked over all of the different ways to support the tomatoes in standalone containers and while CRW seems to be the thing everyone likes the most, I really hate the way it rusts and it seems hard to work with when setting up.

After a lot of thought I think I might have the answer. Using PVC as the stake, 3 pieces of PVC set equidistant around the bucket (to form a triangle). Drill holes in the bucket like this: . .

3 sets for each PVC pipe, then use zip ties through the holes to secure the PVC to the inside of the bucket. Fill with dirt, etc, and we're in business using the pipes for a Florida Weave in each bucket.

If the pipes seem too flexible because of their height (haven't decided just how high yet) I could probably use these midway: http://www.formufit.com/1-2-4-way-tee-pvc-fitting-connector/?gclid=CJ-drdrbwbUCFSRxQgodqXAA9A and these at the top: http://www.globalindustrial.com/p/storage/fittings-framing-rail/plastic-pipe-fittings/3-way-l-fittings-12dia-furniture-grade-pvc-white

I'm hoping the 3 pipes help balance everything out! I can't see anywhere online that anyone has tried this yet.
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Post  RoOsTeR 2/19/2013, 7:34 am

Did you see these buckets Kay's son set up a few posts above this one?
Here is my son's experiment this year on trellising in buckets.

Indeterminate tomato advice needed - Page 2 Dscn0443

Indeterminate tomato advice needed - Page 2 Dscn0444

There are 2 bricks on top of the "foot" in the buckets to help with stability, but I told him to be prepared to move those buckets againt the house wall in windy conditions.

He did this so he could move the tomatos to a filtered shade area during July and August. Last year the filtered shade tomatos are the only ones that lasted. He calls it his portable tomato garden.

Kay

I grew some indeterminates in buckets last year with no issues other than the roots growing so much, they grew out the drilled holes in the bucket Shocked I didn't use anything fancy for support. I used a couple shepherds hooks I had laying around for two of the buckets. The rest I used some left over 5' garden stakes. I did prune heavily and as the plants grew, I just used twine to weave them up. I had great yields on these plants.

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Post  Coelli 2/19/2013, 12:10 pm

I did see those; but I thought that having a 3-point attachment directly to the bucket might add a measure of stability, especially in our sometimes very windy area near a canyon. The 3 pipes would also act as more of a cage than a stake once the Florida Weave was in place and cost less because (hopefully) there are fewer fittings needed overall (I do have a lot of tees left over from a previous project and might try using those instead of 4 ways, just staggering them to accommodate the angle).

I don't think Kay ever said whether her son had any success with his experiment - did she ever come back and say?
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Post  RoOsTeR 2/19/2013, 12:42 pm

Not sure if she did our not. I'm sure she'll chime in when she sees this. We get extreme high winds here along the front range. Well above 50mph.I drove my stakes into the ground next to the buckets for added stability and it worked great. Just another option for you just in case. Good luck!

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Post  Coelli 2/19/2013, 1:16 pm

Unfortunately I have to put them on concrete, so the stake in the ground is out. Smile I think if wind becomes a problem I will rope them all together at the base - their combined weight should keep them more stable.
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Post  walshevak 2/19/2013, 2:00 pm

Here is a good view of the entire bucket brigade of tomatos taken early June.

Indeterminate tomato advice needed - Page 2 Dscn0710

and late June

Indeterminate tomato advice needed - Page 2 Dscn0910

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The poled ones actually stood up well with only a couple blowing over. We sunk the buckets about 2" into the sand for extra support and thought about putting a piece of rebar through one of the drainage holes and down into the sand.

But I think a double frame close together (like the ones with the strings hanging down) and having the poles between the top supports would work even better in higher winds.

Even the caged determinate plants wound up needing a taller support and we wired some plant stakes to the cages. Gotta love that MM. Very Happy

FYI. Back of house faces south. Poles are in full sun and strings are in filtered shade. Full sun did best early and then had a sorta rebound after the weather cooled. Filtered shade was later bearing and not as prolific at one time, but hung on better for the entire summer/fall. Each batch had at least one of each variety that we planted. The last tomato standing and one of the most prolific was a san marzano paste planted in one of the pond beds and growing in the middle of some Asian long bean plants.

And in the Elizabeth City garden on 10/3 two tomato plants in buckets growing on a cattle panel arch (one well supported) after 2 1/2 months of just being watered and not pruned.

Indeterminate tomato advice needed - Page 2 Dscn1210

We used the buckets for the winter crop of collards and are getting them ready again for summer tomatos - crop rotation Saving the beds for other things.

Can you run a set of frames entirely across the concrete area (ground edge to ground edge) and use the string frame setup? It really worked well although my son needed a stepstool at the end to prune, train, and harvest. They are made from EMT and set over rebar stakes.
Kay

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Post  Coelli 2/19/2013, 2:10 pm

Kay, are there cages on the bottoms of those, too?

I did consider trying to find a place where I could sink a frame into the ground, but there's really nowhere to do it except the dogs' potty area. My back yard is small and the majority of it is a paverstone patio, with a 9x20 strip of astroturf for the dogs and then the rest of it is the fenced garden, and that's almost entirely filled by the raised beds.

Another thought I had was filling a bucket with concrete and sinking the frame ends into it, but I'm afraid if one of those goes over for any reason it will be disastrous. Having each tomato in its individual bucket for portability will help as well when it gets so brutally hot this summer so I can move them into shade, or against a wall if we get any high winds.

I will prototype one of my zip-tie tripod buckets and post a picture of it if it seems to be working out well. Smile
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Post  Hoggar 2/19/2013, 3:10 pm

Hi Coelli

Here is what my Toms live in.
I use Hardware cloth to close the bottom of all my boxes to keep out the digging critters and lay a sheet of plastic under them to keep out my tenacious Star of Bethlehem. They can be moved any where I want them and the only reason you would need to take the dirt out would be the weight. This box is 2'W x 8'L x 10' tall. You could easily set it up on concrete and it would not tip over.
PS... I put 16 plants in this box.

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Post  Coelli 2/19/2013, 3:19 pm

Hoggar, that is a great idea!! Maybe I can seal the bottom of the box somehow (I don't want to stain the patio if possible).
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Post  Hoggar 2/20/2013, 9:30 am

The box or bucket which ever kind of planter you use needs to drain so you don't drowned your plants so I would just lay a sheet of plastic under it.
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