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SpecialistMichael, MS, CSCS
Category: General
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Experience:  Senior Information Specialist
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Hi Mike, hope yurre doing well. I glad to hear from you and

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Hi Mike, hope yur're doing well. I glad to hear from you and thank you for addressing my question.
Can you share with me your opinion on the best way to trellis/stake up tomatoes?


SpecialistMike :

Dave are you there? I'm here

SpecialistMike :

Ill be standing by - if we end up having chat issues I will just convert to standard format and type you out my thoughts

OK so I am converting to standard format and will begin to type up my feelings on tomato growth for you - I had a huge answer typed up but I lost it when it was auto converted to chat.

Give me just a bit here Dave :)

I hope all is well on your end too Dave. Just looking forward to warmer weather so I can start scarfing down blueberries and tomato with fresh mozz and basil to be honest :).

To answer your question there are 2 ways to go about it that I have grown up doing.

First is the somewhat crude, cheap(both time and resource) way of using your basic prebought cage, or making your own out of your own gauge wire or thin fence wiring. These are easy to use, again cheap, but are just as simple. The caveat to these, while tried and true to be good enough is that the plant can kinda overgrow onto itself, plus other plants can crowd it.

The cool way to do these trellises for vertical growth is actually 2 ways - using a string or line of your choice, or using something like a larger branch with the smaller branches cut off of it so the vine can twirl and "step" up to it.

Both are built in a /\ formation(like an old swingset A frame but you could do a single standing pole if you wanted), and then have a crosspole with string or lines hanging down, or branches hanging down to it. This will allow the plants to grow vertically and the vine to twirl and reach up.

The other way is almost like a step ladder type. You do a single pole on each side or stick/branch(if you want to be green) then fasten line or string horizontally between the 2 poles at intervals of 6-12(ish) inches so the vine can grow vertically, then "step" to each horizontal support line.

if you wanted, space depending, instead of doing single rows, you could do a cube type of design and run both horizontal and vertical lines. Though as long as there is enough space, along as they have enough to grab onto as they travel up they will do just fine. It basically comes down to time, material and space available in your gardens.

Biggest thing about growing vertically is to make sure each plant has enough space, which is the point of doing it this way versus ground growing. This way they get more air, light, water, and they are not only NOT crowding each other, there is less chance of fungus or varmints hiding within them.
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