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Tomato cages/trellis help needed Toplef10Tomato cages/trellis help needed 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

Tomato cages/trellis help needed I22gcj10Tomato cages/trellis help needed 14dhcg10

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Tomato cages/trellis help needed

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quiltbea
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krisandbert
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Post  krisandbert 6/11/2015, 11:28 pm

Originally I wanted to run my tomatoes up a string but I think they got out of hand.  Am I better off doing a traditional tomato cage at the point? I was
trying not to disturb the weed blocker under need the bed for fear of potential weeds.

Also I need to get my trellis's up for the cucumbers and beans. I was going to use a cattle panel but my husband got some 3x5 foot metal panels so I was thinking of using those and attaching them to something to go across the mulch from bed to bed. Any advice? Thanks!  Tomato cages/trellis help needed Imagejpeg
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Post  Marc Iverson 6/12/2015, 1:46 am

Traditional tomato cages will have their fans, but they seem like the worst solution to me. I'd much rather trellis them or string them from overhead.

A really vibrantly growing, productive plant can easily tilt or even tip over a tomato cage, and the result can be a lot of damage to the whole plant. Tomatoes strung from above or grown through a trellis are more likely to damage only part of the plant if a limb here or there gets too heavy or wind-blown.

If you do want to use traditional tomato cages, try to get the ones that aren't narrower at the bottom than at the top, and think about securing them to something to keep them from tipping over. That's what I've done anyway. Sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn't.
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Post  AtlantaMarie 6/12/2015, 7:43 am

Hi Krisandbert.  I've got my tomatoes tied to my fencing/trellising this year.  Seems to be working well.

Can you send a pic of the metal panel?  That would help us visualize it better...
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Post  krisandbert 6/12/2015, 9:24 am

Tomato cages/trellis help needed Imagejpeg
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Post  krisandbert 6/12/2015, 9:26 am

Tomato cages/trellis help needed Imagejpeg
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Post  boffer 6/12/2015, 10:18 am

krisandbert,

The character string you're posting isn't a valid URL. Can you find another link to try?




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Post  donnainzone5 6/12/2015, 11:52 am

Mel's trellises, in my opinion, are a superior solution, and the netting available from the Foundation is quite durable.

I do have similar reservations about disturbing the weed cloth.  However, you might want to try installing the trellises just barely outside your raised beds and gently training your plants to climb.
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Post  quiltbea 6/12/2015, 11:54 am

Being a northerner I find that my tomatoes don't get as big and vibrant as in the south so mine can be handled with stringing and 7-ft fence poles for stakes.  For determinates, which don't grow as large, I like to use the tomato cages.
I agree that cages don't handle the indeterminates very well, even here in the north.  They aren't strong enough unless you get the heavy-gauge square ones that can handle more weight.
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Post  donnainzone5 6/12/2015, 11:59 am

And those square, heavy-gauge tomato cages typically are at least 16" at the bottom and can't be fit into a single square foot.  That's okay, of course, if you're allowing 18" or more per tomato plant.
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Post  krisandbert 6/12/2015, 3:35 pm

Tomato cages/trellis help needed Garden10

Tomato cages/trellis help needed Garden11

Tomato cages/trellis help needed Garden12
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Post  CapeCoddess 6/12/2015, 4:10 pm

Hi krisandbert!  Everything looks so lush in your garden!  

I'm with Donna, Mel's trellises haven't failed me yet and I'm in a very windy area.  
These tomatoes will be woven in and out of the squares as they grow.  A couple are ready to be started now: Tomato cages/trellis help needed 02512

The L-shaped trellis on the left side of the photos holds sugar snap peas, and on the right side the short one is the tomato trellis in the photo above and the tall one is for the pole beans that are just starting out: Tomato cages/trellis help needed 01510
I have the trellis fixin's for the left side of the front box for 4 sqs of cucumbers that are just starting out.

Snow peas climbing up this one: Tomato cages/trellis help needed 03710

I think that if you don't have alot of wind, and you're very careful about weaving them in and out, your hubbies panels will be just fine.
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Post  donnainzone5 6/12/2015, 4:16 pm

Here in Central Oregon, we get a lot of wind--sometimes up to 80 mph!  Typically, though, it doesn't exceed 55 mph.

My trellis has never had any trouble surviving the weather.

One caveat!  I strongly recommend tightening the netting with twist or zip ties.  The tighter it is, the more weight it will hold!
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Post  sanderson 6/13/2015, 1:15 am

A lush garden and a view to die for!

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Post  Marc Iverson 6/13/2015, 2:03 am

CapeCoddess wrote:... Mel's trellises ..
CC

That's too long ... could we just start calling it a "Mellis"?
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Post  krisandbert 6/13/2015, 7:45 am

sanderson wrote:A lush garden and a view to die for!
Thanks! We have quite a bit of land and used to do traditional row gardening in the past but couldn't keep the animals out, not to mention the weeds! Two years ago I tried SFG and with amazing results I expanded this year but between the kids soccer and baseball I was excited to get the beds and plants in. Just finished mulching Thursday. Today's goal is to get the trellis's and cages done. 

Tomato cages/trellis help needed Image16

This picture was taken about three weeks ago (when I should of got my trellis's up).
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Post  CapeCoddess 6/13/2015, 7:49 am

Marc Iverson wrote:
CapeCoddess wrote:... Mel's trellises ..
CC

That's too long ... could we just start calling it a "Mellis"?
darn funny
I will if you will. Of course we'll have to explain what it means every time to someone who doesn't know yet.
Or maybe we could use MT, along the same lines of MM.
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Post  AtlantaMarie 6/13/2015, 8:18 am

donnainzone10 wrote:One caveat!  I strongly recommend tightening the netting with twist or zip ties.  The tighter it is, the more weight it will hold!
Interesting, Donna....!  Hadn't thought about that...

Thanks for that tip!!!
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Post  donnainzone5 6/13/2015, 12:09 pm

I thought of the twist ties when I set up my first MT.

However, I credit one of Belinda's videos for the zip-tie idea.   Very Happy
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Post  sanderson 6/13/2015, 5:25 pm

Ah, zip ties. Love 'em.

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Post  AtlantaMarie 6/13/2015, 8:51 pm

I do too, but won't use them on plants.  I'm concerned that they'll cut the stems in a breeze because they can be rather sharp on the edges.
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Post  donnainzone5 6/13/2015, 10:04 pm

I plan to use the zip ties only on the netting, which connects to the EMT.  There should be little, if any, contact with the plants.
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Post  AtlantaMarie 6/14/2015, 10:24 am

Ah!  Yeah, we did that too.
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Post  krisandbert 6/18/2015, 11:32 am

Sorry the pics are sideways Smile once I got to work on the tomatoes I couldn't seem to trellis them. Next year I'll be more prepared. I did get the hoop done for the watermelons and started the trellis for the cucumbers and beans. Hope to finish the top when I get back in town. We already have gotten 6 cucumbers and several squash and zucchini and lots of radishes! 

Tomato cages/trellis help needed Image20

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Tomato cages/trellis help needed Image22





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Post  FeedMeSeeMore 6/19/2015, 12:29 pm

I like the rolls of green velcro I get from HD. It's about 1/4 " wide. To save on the amount used, I'll make a circle and attach it to the stem I want to support and then tie some string to that velcro circle and the place I want to pull the stem to.

We've used grocery store plastic bags too, but I don't care for the aesthetics although it does work very well and is free.
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