Next year's support system

fireduck(10a)August 31, 2013

I learned the importance this year of a good support system for my plants. I ended up with a hodge-podge system after getting behind the power curve! Next year's plan: plant the tomatoes in a row...alongside my 8' T posts. Rather than my initial thought of 6 inch welded wire (it rusts and looks bad) between the posts...I think I will just run galvanized wire (14 gauge) every 12 inches between the posts. What do you think???

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donna_in_sask

I use nylon cord from the hardware store in a Florida Weave; I don't know what the advantage would be for using metal wire.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 11:06PM
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fireduck(10a)

D...obviously they would serve different purposes. The wire would require tying branches and trusses to the lateral wire supports. My understanding of Florida weave would not work with metal wire....correct? Doesn't that involve criss-crossing string with the plants entrapped in the middle?

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 12:03AM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

I did learned it the hard way too, that you need some kind of good and TALL support system.
I am , probably, going to make more cages from CRW
(48" x 84" sheets). But since they are short (4ft), I will mount them on 3 legs of 3/4" dia. rebars. sticking out about 3ft. So the cage can be tied to top 1ft . Now the top of cage is 6 ft over the ground level.
Another word, attach 3 legs to a 4 ft round cage.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 3:25AM
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zeuspaul(9b SoCal)

What do you think???

Based on this year's experience I think you should run two rows of 8 ft T posts with the tomato plants sandwiched between aka a tomato hedge. The post rows should be two or three feet apart. Two if you need more air circulation, three if you want more shade.

Run wire or other as you described every nine inches for the first two levels and then twelve inches. 6 inch mesh is not good because it restricts access. I used 20 ft rebar and spaced posts along the run 4 to 5 feet apart.

You will need a bunch of lateral push throughs. As the plants grow slip a 3 or 4 ft *stick* from one side to the other supported on the wire or string or in my case rebar. When the plants are short use two sticks, one on either side of the plant. When the plant reaches the upper levels you can remove excess sticks from the lower levels. PVC pipe makes good sticks because it is round and gentle on the plant. However pvc tends to roll which could cause problems while the plants are small. Some flat edged stcks should be available to prevent rolling in the early stages.

Zeuspaul

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 12:49PM
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fireduck(10a)

some good ideas here....I think I will try one of those 3/4 inch pvc cages that some guy touts on the other site. They look nice, as well. Either way...I will have it dialed in BEFORE the plants get tall.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 7:56PM
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John11840(z6/CT)

Fireduck - My system is almost exactly as you describe in you initial post. I have 2 rows of 1" X 4" mesh galvanized fence supported by T posts 10' apart. That mesh is a little small, but what was available when I set it up. As the plants grow, I simply weave them through the fence, and don't need to tie them. I just leave the fence up in the winter and it's been there about 5 years. In the winter of 2010, a large tree fell across one of the fences. In the next spring I straightened it out and put in some intermediate supports between the T posts. So, I can plant 2 rows of 9 plants each, 3' apart.
John A

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 8:46AM
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fireduck(10a)

J...that is what I am talking about. I thought of the re-mesh wire (6x6)...but it rusts and looks crummy. I bet your wire is galvanized and still looks presentable...huh?

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 9:59AM
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fireduck(10a)

re-read....I see you said galvanized. haha

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 10:00AM
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John11840(z6/CT)

Fireduck - Yes, that's the reason I used galvanized because the re-mesh rusts.
John A

    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 12:00PM
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