What is a good way to support indeterminate tomatoes?

dutchess_9(8b)January 19, 2009

I am going to grow lots of tomatoes this season and I still haven't decided how to support them.

Yellow Pear (I)

Roma (D)

Salad Sweet (I)

Steak Sandwhich (I)

San Marzano (I)

Best boy (D)

Early and Often (I)

Green Zebra (I)

Beefsteak (heirloom mix) (I))

I have a 3x16 foot raised bed (12inches). I need a way to support the indeterminate tomatoes. Any suggestions would be very helpful.

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piantini

Built yourself a wood frame (kind of like a door frame). Then tie nylon strings every spacing and tie it also to the bottom stem of the tomato plan. Make sure when you tie it, is a little loose so when the plant grows you don't choke the stem.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 2:55PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

3 primary choices are 6-7' metal or wood stakes, 6' cages made from concrete reinforcing wire or similar (called CRW cages), or what is called Florida weave. You'll find numerous discussions here on all 3 methods many with photos included. Texas Tomato cages is another often discussed option - but expensive. Which you choose and how well they will work will depend on how much, if any, pruning you plan to do on your plants.

See link below for some discussions. Photo below is one I have posted many times of some of my cages.

Dave

Here is a link that might be useful: CRW cages discussions

    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 2:56PM
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rosieo(7 NC)

I like the Florida weave for maximum tomatoes in the minimum space.

Here is a link that might be useful: Florida weave

    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 4:35PM
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dutchess_9(8b)

rosieo- I love the Florida weave idea!!! I've decided that is what I will use. Thanks so much!

Here is a link that might be useful: How my garden grows!

    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 5:06PM
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anney(Georgia 8)

And I support mine with lengths of cattle panel, 4' tall and 16' long. They can be cut for smaller areas. Since they're so stable, they need only a couple of stakes for support. I just tie my growing tomatoes to the fencing. I also use them for my melons and beans to climb on:

Tomato plants tied to the cattle panel:

    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 5:06PM
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brokenbar(Mexico 23 00 N, 102 00 W)

I use 8 foot tallT posts pounded into the ground one foot and tie the plants to the T post as they grow.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 6:28PM
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lgslgs(z6 SE ohio)

Instead of propping up, we hang drop lines from above and use tomato clips.

If you look close here you can see the overhead wires.

Lynda

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to larger image with clearer view of wires strings clips

    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 6:31PM
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dutchess_9(8b)

Lynda- That's a lot of tomatoes! What do you do with all of them?

Thanks for the great picture.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 7:07PM
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lgslgs(z6 SE ohio)

Eat 'em. Make roasted tomato sauce and freeze it if we can't keep up with eating them. Freeze some of the cherry & currant tomatoes whole and toss them in winter dinners. Give a few away to the guy who gives us all of those buckets.

Lunch every day in the summer is broiled tomato sandwiches. Dinner often has tomatoes in it as well.

And every once in a while we'll share one with one of the goats - just because goats look really funny when they're eating ripe tomatoes. :) We also make sure the cow gets one once in a while as a big thank you for helping make the compost to fill those containers.

We've never had too many yet. Next year we'll plant more.

Oh - and between the tomatoes and the other veg we grow, we haven't bought store bought veg (except for onions and occasional carrots) in almost three years now. Not bad for two people who are vegetarians and rely on vegetables as our main food.

Lynda

    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 8:38PM
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gardenerme(z9/21 inland socal)

lgslgs: can you tell me what tomato clips are and where you get them? Thanks!

    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 9:28PM
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bluemater(z5 IL)

gardenerme...I use stem clips and you can get them at Alternative Garden Supply (a Brew N Grow)...

Here is a link that might be useful: Alternative Garden Supply

    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 10:58PM
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anney(Georgia 8)

Lynda

I can't tell from the photo -- do you fasten the bottom of the dropline to the bucket (handle?) to keep the string support steady?

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 7:27AM
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geeboss(7)

I'm not Lynda, however the last bucket in the front row (yellow) you can see that the drop line is tied to the wire bucket handle. You'll want to click on the link to the larger picture.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lynda's photo see yellow bucket wire

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 9:17AM
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anney(Georgia 8)

GB

Thanks. I didn't scroll over to the right when I loaded the large version. But I see several other buckets where both sides of the handles are visible and don't see anything attached to them.

I was just wondering if the string supports need to be tied at the top AND bottom. Maybe not, but I don't know. :-)

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 9:56AM
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lgslgs(z6 SE ohio)

No - we don't tie the strings to the buckets. Only to the top wire and then clip the string to the 'mater plants.

If it looks like a string is tied to the bucket that's just an illusion. Just the drop line and a few clips give the plants plenty of support.

We use drop lines and clips for beans, gourds, pepper plants, eggplants - all sorts of stuff.

We buy the tomato clips through Johnny's. They've got packs sized for every garden and good prices.

Lynda

Here is a link that might be useful: Johnny's Tomato Clips

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 1:05PM
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luv_daises

Lynda,
Was reading your response on what you do with all your tomatoes. How do you make your broiled tomato sandwich. Sounds yummy.... :)
Carol

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 4:07PM
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lgslgs(z6 SE ohio)

Hi Carol -

Sandwiches are easy. Just a slice of homemade sourdough bread, cover it with sliced tomatoes, then a slice of mozzarella cheese and broil until everything's bubbly and the cheese browns.

The toughest part is choosing which tomatoes to use that day and trying to get a good balance of colors and juicy/drier ones to decrease the risk of getting molten tomato juice on your hands. Striped cavern is a good one to use to balance out the juicier ones.

Lynda

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 4:28PM
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ohiogrower

HEre is a good option with a video. This is what I am going to use

http://www.thisgardenisillegal.com/2007/05/how-to-string-up-tomatoes-in-garden.html

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 4:52PM
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luv_daises

Thanks Lynda,
Always looking to try new things and learn from others.
Carol

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 8:51PM
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jadeforrest(8)

I love this thread, and seeing all the photos!

I posted exactly how I do it on the link below. I read about this technique in Steve Solomon's books, and have found it to be a nice way to grow a lot of tomatoes in a small space.

I hope more people will post photos of their techniques -- it's fun to learn from what others are doing.

Here is a link that might be useful: How to prune and trellis tomatoes

    Bookmark   June 19, 2010 at 12:27AM
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