[Market-farming] determinate Tomato >> trellising
frank.dragonflyfarms at gmail.com
Wed Jan 27 14:23:12 EST 2010
Thanks ! What's the dimension of the stake you use? 1"x1"? What do you do
when the tomato inevitable grows beyond the height of the stake?
From: market-farming-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:market-farming-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Road's End
Sent: Wednesday, January 27, 2010 2:12 PM
To: Market Farming
Subject: Re: [Market-farming] determinate Tomato >> trellising
On Jan 27, 2010, at 12:01 PM, Deb Taft wrote:
Do those of you growing tomatoes on a large scale do any sort of trellising
The most I've grown was about 300 plants. I used cattle panels or an
overhead trellising system for the indeterminates and stakes or cages for
the determinates. This year I plan to grow a LOT more and most of the
varieties I like are indeterminate. I can't imagine providing trellising
for vast numbers of plants but on the one occasion when I didn't get my s**t
together for a row and just let them meander on the ground, I was very
I'd love to hear how y'all are handling this!
Sleepy Hollow NY,
This isn't large scale, I usually do 100 to 200 plants, but the basic
technique is used by larger growers: stake and weave.
Set a stake between every plant or every couple of plants, and at the ends
of rows (I do between every plant, and use 5' untreated oak tomato stakes if
I can get them.). Get a lot of untreated twine. Tie one end of twine to the
first stake about 6" up, pull it tight and wrap around the next stake (not
around the plant), and so on either to the end of the row or as far as you
want to go in one stretch (you won't be able to walk across the row where
the twine is once the assembly is full height; I generally do each variety
as a separate section.) Then go back on the other side of the plants doing
the same thing, trapping the tomato plants between the two opposite rows of
twine. You don't need to actually tie the twine at each stake, just wrap it
around at each plant and tie it only at the ends (though if you're doing a
really long row as one section, you might want to tie it occasionally to
limit the amount of repairs necessary if the twine breaks at some point.)
Repeat as the plants grow, adding layers of twine about 6" to 1' apart,
until you're the full height of the plants or the posts, whichever comes
first. It's easiest to do this by adding layers just as the plants gain
enough extra height to be worth adding another one; if you miss on the
timing and have to catch up later, you may have to pull the plants upright
as you go, which in severe cases can make it a two-person job (yes, there is
a reason why I know this).
The first layer is the hardest because you have to bend the most; you can
make a tool to make it easier, but on only 100+ plants I never bothered to
make it, and don't have the directions for making it; maybe somebody else on
the list has them. The end stakes for each section need to be in really
well, and maybe slanted a little away from the direction of the pull of the
twine, as there will be significant tension on them; but, at least if you've
only got maybe two or three dozen plants per section, I haven't needed to
use heavier duty posts at the ends; if you're doing really long runs on each
stretch of twine, you might need to.
Hope that was clear -- there's very likely a video of the process somewhere,
but I don't know where. You could try googling "tomato stake weave".
-- Rivka; Finger Lakes NY, Zone 5 mostly
Fresh-market organic produce, small scale
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