Trellis - Moving from Stakes to String

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Toomanymatoes
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Trellis - Moving from Stakes to String

#1

Post: # 84069Unread post Toomanymatoes
Tue Nov 29, 2022 2:26 pm

I am currently planning on changing my trellising method for my indeterminate tomatoes from a stake to string.

I hope to use t-posts with an overhead wire to support the twine. However, I am trying to figure out what wire to buy. It needs to support ~10 plants per row (3 t-posts) over about 16 feet. I have seen one person use rebar wire that appears to be 16 gauge and another that suggest 1/8" airplane cable (which is a multi-stranded wire). I was also looking at 12 gauge galvanized chain Link fencing bottom bracing wire and 9 gauge galvanized utillity wire.

Just wondering what people with experience using this method have used.

Thanks!

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Cornelius_Gotchberg
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Re: Trellis - Moving from Stakes to String

#2

Post: # 84078Unread post Cornelius_Gotchberg
Tue Nov 29, 2022 3:33 pm

@Toomanytomatoes "~10 plants per row (3 t-posts) over about 16 feet."

How much room between rows?

With limited space, and an optimistic shoehorning in approach is where I get into trouble.

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Madison WESconsin/Growing Zone 5-A/Raised beds above the Midvale Heights spade-caking clay in the 77 Square Miles surrounded by A Sea Of Reality

eyegrotom
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Re: Trellis - Moving from Stakes to String

#3

Post: # 84082Unread post eyegrotom
Tue Nov 29, 2022 4:35 pm

@Toomanytomatoes[/mentioned

For my string setup I have 2 posts about 20 feet apart with 1/8 inch
airplane cable. I use cable clamps on each end so that I can get the slack out of the cable.

I have no idea how this came out red
Last edited by eyegrotom on Tue Nov 29, 2022 11:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Toomanymatoes
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Re: Trellis - Moving from Stakes to String

#4

Post: # 84083Unread post Toomanymatoes
Tue Nov 29, 2022 4:37 pm

The layout of the plants won't be different than last season. Just switching from stakes to string. I typically plant 18" apart and single stem.

It will likely be 9 plants per row, but not all are indeterminate. Haven't worked that out. Might be fewer plants though. However, the distance will be 16 feet with the t-post 8 feet apart. Will be 2 rows in each of two separate garden sections.

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Toomanymatoes
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Re: Trellis - Moving from Stakes to String

#5

Post: # 84084Unread post Toomanymatoes
Tue Nov 29, 2022 4:40 pm

eyegrotom wrote: Tue Nov 29, 2022 4:35 pm @Toomanytomatoes

For my string setup I have 2 posts about 20 feet apart with 1/8 inch
airplane cable. I use cable clamps on each end so that I can get the slack out of the cable.
Thanks. That is one option I am considering. Just a little bit more effort than a simple wire since you have to use thimbles, crimps and turnbuckles.

I probably don't need 3 t-posts if I go that route, so that is a nice advantage.

Tomatina
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Re: Trellis - Moving from Stakes to String

#6

Post: # 84086Unread post Tomatina
Tue Nov 29, 2022 5:04 pm

I'm not sure, if I understand your idea completly, you want your tomatos to grow on this metal strings?
Personally I wouldn't like to use metal in direct touch with my tomatos - first reason: temperature, metal will get quite hot in the summersun and also colder with low temperature than rope or wood - (also humidity might stay longer on it?)
Second - I think they just don't like metal, but maybe ask them youself:)

We're using rope (synthetic and natural) around 1/4 to 1/2inch thick on a simple wooden structure/frame, where we just do a V for each tomato. If we want more than two strings for a plant, we just add rope.
In the heart of Germany, Zone 7

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Toomanymatoes
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Re: Trellis - Moving from Stakes to String

#7

Post: # 84087Unread post Toomanymatoes
Tue Nov 29, 2022 5:12 pm

Tomatina wrote: Tue Nov 29, 2022 5:04 pm I'm not sure, if I understand your idea completly, you want your tomatos to grow on this metal strings?
Personally I wouldn't like to use metal in direct touch with my tomatos - first reason: temperature, metal will get quite hot in the summersun and also colder with low temperature than rope or wood - (also humidity might stay longer on it?)
Second - I think they just don't like metal, but maybe ask them youself:)

We're using rope (synthetic and natural) around 1/4 to 1/2inch thick on a simple wooden structure/frame, where we just do a V for each tomato. If we want more than two strings for a plant, we just add rope.
Nope. I have baler twine for that part. I need something to tie that baler twine to. Basically, the overhead structure. I was going to use a wooden structure, but decided that wire would be better for me. Just want something that is strong enough.

I appreciate the advice though!

Here is an example from the Millenial Gardener Youtube Channel.
image.png

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zeuspaul
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Re: Trellis - Moving from Stakes to String

#8

Post: # 84088Unread post zeuspaul
Tue Nov 29, 2022 5:36 pm

While you are looking at options I use what I call a trellis cage. A pair of t-posts about 18 inches apart with 1/2 or 3/4 inch steel electric conduit with vertical spacing of about 18 inches. Sometimes I tie string (cotton twine) to the upper rail. Sometimes I place 1x2 boards laterally to act as support when needed.

If I were to improve my system I would use some kind of hook on the t-post to support the conduit making it easy to remove and replace the conduit on at least one side. I am attaching them with wire. I can walk through the center 18 inch width but removing the sides would give me better access.

Sometimes I place a few boards on the top to provide some shade.

trellis.JPG
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Tormato
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Re: Trellis - Moving from Stakes to String

#9

Post: # 84089Unread post Tormato
Tue Nov 29, 2022 5:50 pm

The only thing easily available, here, is 9 gauge galvanized. I use it for hoops, along with bird netting, over fruiting bushes.

Several materials should work fine, as long as the 2 end posts are well anchored.

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Re: Trellis - Moving from Stakes to String

#10

Post: # 84090Unread post Uncle_Feist
Tue Nov 29, 2022 5:54 pm

I use t post and 6' wooden stakes along with Florida weave for indeterminate varieties. I've been using the method for years growing maters for fresh market, and it has worked great. No top wire needed.

T post to start the row, then 2 or 3 wooden stakes, one placed between every 2 plants then another t post, repeat.

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Re: Trellis - Moving from Stakes to String

#11

Post: # 84104Unread post Toomanymatoes
Wed Nov 30, 2022 7:10 am

Thank you for all the suggestions. I appreciate it.

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Re: Trellis - Moving from Stakes to String

#12

Post: # 84105Unread post Toomanymatoes
Wed Nov 30, 2022 7:11 am

eyegrotom wrote: Tue Nov 29, 2022 4:35 pm @Toomanytomatoes

For my string setup I have 2 posts about 20 feet apart with 1/8 inch
airplane cable. I use cable clamps on each end so that I can get the slack out of the cable.

I have no idea how this came out red
You have to close the mention tag with /mention, not /mentioned ;)

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Re: Trellis - Moving from Stakes to String

#13

Post: # 84118Unread post worth1
Wed Nov 30, 2022 10:31 am

I went from stakes to string to cage to don't give a hoot sprawl.
Worth
25 miles southeast of Liverpool.

There are no dead end jobs, only dead end people.

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Re: Trellis - Moving from Stakes to String

#14

Post: # 84288Unread post ddsack
Sat Dec 03, 2022 10:57 am

I have now gone to mostly using welded cattle panels for support, but for many years I used 12ft boards wired to the top of metal posts to suspend from. I drilled holes in the ends of the boards to pass the wire through and made sure it also lay over the top of the posts in several layers, with many wraps in all directions. You can even balance the board on the post top. The wraps may look messy, but all of mine held fine. I still have one bed left with the same board for at least 15 years, including all the winters.

Image

Image

I also had some 8'x4' shorter beds that used 1"x2" wood pieces for top supports that were wired to tall metal stakes. Five plants per bed.

Image

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Re: Trellis - Moving from Stakes to String

#15

Post: # 84293Unread post Toomanymatoes
Sat Dec 03, 2022 11:53 am

@ddsack

What you put together is very similar to what I had originally planned to do. I just wasn't sure the best/easiest way to attach the wood boards to the T-post. Something like you did would obviously work.

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Re: Trellis - Moving from Stakes to String

#16

Post: # 84294Unread post ddsack
Sat Dec 03, 2022 12:33 pm

Drilling holes in the boards for the wire to pass through helped, but if you are clever, you could also figure out some kind of angle iron piece to attach to the post to rest the board on which might look neater. I like that compared to wire or metal poles, wood has very little sag over time. If you go with wire, you will need some kind of turnbuckle on the wire support for periodic tightening. At one point I was going to paint the board light green and stencil it as a long darker green vine with leaves with red tomatoes, but never got around to it. This one remaining board is right at the front of the garden driving into our yard, so it's rather visible. I use it for my various colors of cherry tomatoes.

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Re: Trellis - Moving from Stakes to String

#17

Post: # 84297Unread post Toomanymatoes
Sat Dec 03, 2022 12:51 pm

ddsack wrote: Sat Dec 03, 2022 12:33 pm Drilling holes in the boards for the wire to pass through helped, but if you are clever, you could also figure out some kind of angle iron piece to attach to the post to rest the board on which might look neater. I like that compared to wire or metal poles, wood has very little sag over time. If you go with wire, you will need some kind of turnbuckle on the wire support for periodic tightening. At one point I was going to paint the board light green and stencil it as a long darker green vine with leaves with red tomatoes, but never got around to it. This one remaining board is right at the front of the garden driving into our yard, so it's rather visible. I use it for my various colors of cherry tomatoes.
I am far from clever :). I am more inclined to go the easy route (aka lazy).

I was just pricing out cable, thimbles, cable clamps and turnbuckles. There are kits on Amazon, but it looks like the wire may not be thick enough. I can get enough 3/16" cable for not much more $ locally.

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Re: Trellis - Moving from Stakes to String

#18

Post: # 84319Unread post Mark_Thompson
Sat Dec 03, 2022 11:50 pm

@ddsack Those look good. I use bamboo just because it’s free and everywhere here, but it would never last fifteen years.
D7729233-FDB5-4547-AABA-82189AF3AF71.jpeg
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Wet and windy side of a Hawaiian island, growing in ground in the summer and in pots in the winter.

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Re: Trellis - Moving from Stakes to String

#19

Post: # 84336Unread post ddsack
Sun Dec 04, 2022 10:36 am

@Mark_Thompson Nice! I would love to have free bamboo!
In the past I have occasionally found some skinny aspen saplings in our woods to use for bean supports and such, but the right sizes are hard to come by in our older woods.

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