Best no prune stake/cage/trellis technique?

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Mark_Thompson
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Best no prune stake/cage/trellis technique?

#1

Post: # 14641Unread post Mark_Thompson
Sun Mar 22, 2020 2:09 am

I love pruning and tying off tomatoes. Unfortunately I often leave for work for up to two months at a time and the wifey doesn’t share my enthusiasm for playing with the plants each and every day.

I tried just putting my plants in the middle of a 7’ tall cage, and letting them go, no tying whatsoever, and so far the results have been so so. The plants slowly sag under their own weight and a lot of the fruits ended up resting on the ground.

Does anyone have any better techniques for supporting plants that you let go wild? Looking for something easy enough to sell her on that still yields decent results. If not I guess I’ll just have to try talk her into tying off the bigger stems once a week to keep everything off the ground.
Wet and windy side of a Hawaiian island, growing year round and the struggle is real.

Clkeiper
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Re: Best no prune stake/cage/trellis technique?

#2

Post: # 14646Unread post Clkeiper
Sun Mar 22, 2020 8:21 am

maybe a narrower cage or criss cross some bamboo inside the cages to give the tomatoes more support. this year she might give you a little more help with the situation like it is though? this is not going to be a quickly over with illness and with a different outlook that t is necessary rather than just a hobby might be helpful. I plant some of mine in a rather tall cage but I haven't had them collapse under their own weight. maybe its a combination of the size of the cage and the size of your fruit causing it.

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worth1
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Re: Best no prune stake/cage/trellis technique?

#3

Post: # 14648Unread post worth1
Sun Mar 22, 2020 9:21 am

There are two things that make a successful gardener.
Desire and aptitude.
I was lucky I was raised up on a farm where I had a mom that could go out and split wood and shoot critters for food.
My wife wasn't and no matter how hard she tried she just never understood or knew how to do it with any success.
She was very smart in school and university but practical things and doing stuff with her hands not at all.
This is also the same with men too and not gender specific.
Like you I had to leave for weeks on end and would come home to disaster.

Now to the question.
You might try a smaller diameter cage my 2 foot diameter cages require constant care to keep the plants from squatting in them.
Or maybe straw and letting them sprawl.
Not an option I care for.
Worth
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Nan6b
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Re: Best no prune stake/cage/trellis technique?

#4

Post: # 14671Unread post Nan6b
Sun Mar 22, 2020 12:22 pm

I have two monster plants every year; Sungold and Post Office Spoonful. They are planted up against an 8' deer fence. I give each one a 5' tomato cage and then when they're growing out of that, I might tie some of the stems in 1 bunch to the fence. From there the plants just grow up & into the fence on their own. The deer fence is about 2x3" wire, and the top 2' sort of sags in over the plants a bit. It works very well for me.

Mark_Thompson
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Re: Best no prune stake/cage/trellis technique?

#5

Post: # 14719Unread post Mark_Thompson
Sun Mar 22, 2020 7:55 pm

Interesting, I like the cage then fence combo idea.

I was also thinking of trying to make my hogwire cages smaller at the bottom, larger at the top, like an inverted cone. Might help with the squatting (great word for it btw).

Thanks for the ideas, and anyone else out there feel free
Wet and windy side of a Hawaiian island, growing year round and the struggle is real.

zeuspaul
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Re: Best no prune stake/cage/trellis technique?

#6

Post: # 14743Unread post zeuspaul
Mon Mar 23, 2020 3:52 am

I don't give my plants much maintenance but some do end up on the ground. I make what might be called a trellis cage? I run 2 rows of t-posts about 2 ft apart. Then run horizontal supports (3/4 elec conduit) lengthwise spaced about 12 inches apart vertically for the height of the posts. Then as needed I lay a stick of wood between the two rows.

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stone
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Re: Best no prune stake/cage/trellis technique?

#7

Post: # 14800Unread post stone
Mon Mar 23, 2020 5:09 pm

Image

Not sure you can see the picture very well... I caged the glades tomato when small... as it got larger and larger with limbs that I missed tucking back inside the cage... I eventually needed to prop up the limbs out of the way of the wheelbarrow... wrapped bailing twine around everything...

my everglades tomatoes were so prolific... I ended up giving most of thew fruit to the chickens... they loved them!

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Cole_Robbie
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Re: Best no prune stake/cage/trellis technique?

#8

Post: # 14820Unread post Cole_Robbie
Mon Mar 23, 2020 8:48 pm

It is easier to just grow varieties that require no trellising, or do fine in a cheap wire cage. Maglia Rosa comes to mind. Terrenzo is a bush red cherry I like. Utnyok, which I can never spell correctly, grows medium tomatoes on a bushy plant.

Mark_Thompson
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Re: Best no prune stake/cage/trellis technique?

#9

Post: # 14904Unread post Mark_Thompson
Wed Mar 25, 2020 1:51 am

Cole_Robbie wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 8:48 pm
It is easier to just grow varieties that require no trellising, or do fine in a cheap wire cage. Maglia Rosa comes to mind. Terrenzo is a bush red cherry I like. Utnyok, which I can never spell correctly, grows medium tomatoes on a bushy plant.
Thanks for the ideas.

Maglia Rosa looks promising. Terenzo, I’ve had really bad luck with tumbling type plants so far. Anyone know an alternate spelling for Utnyok? Didn’t have any luck on google with that.
Wet and windy side of a Hawaiian island, growing year round and the struggle is real.

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Nan6b
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Re: Best no prune stake/cage/trellis technique?

#10

Post: # 14936Unread post Nan6b
Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:58 am

utyonok. And I'll second Maglia Rosa as a good tasting small plant. But I don't think you need to just stick to small plants. If something large and sprawling is your favorite, grow it!

FarmerShawn
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Re: Best no prune stake/cage/trellis technique?

#11

Post: # 14952Unread post FarmerShawn
Wed Mar 25, 2020 12:05 pm

Jet Star (F1) is a solid, reliable slicer that, at least for me, grows fairly modestly, and produces plenty of nice, tasty, medium-large red fruit.

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SQWIB
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Re: Best no prune stake/cage/trellis technique?

#12

Post: # 14958Unread post SQWIB
Wed Mar 25, 2020 1:24 pm

If I had to leave my babies that long, I would try this using Home Depot re-mesh but at 3 layers.
trellis.jpg
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SQWIB
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Re: Best no prune stake/cage/trellis technique?

#13

Post: # 14959Unread post SQWIB
Wed Mar 25, 2020 1:27 pm

5876720532_1a5886181f_b.jpg
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pondgardner
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Re: Best no prune stake/cage/trellis technique?

#14

Post: # 14964Unread post pondgardner
Wed Mar 25, 2020 2:54 pm

With either one of those options, if hail was forecast, you could quickly set some sort of cover on top.
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Re: Best no prune stake/cage/trellis technique?

#15

Post: # 14996Unread post Whwoz
Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:14 pm

Ever looked at growing some of the project Dwarves
I grow a couple and they do not need regular tying up. I grow unpruned and tie to single stake, but this may not work if your humidity is high

Mark_Thompson
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Re: Best no prune stake/cage/trellis technique?

#16

Post: # 15006Unread post Mark_Thompson
Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:35 am

SQWIB wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 1:24 pm
If I had to leave my babies that long, I would try this using Home Depot re-mesh but at 3 layers.

trellis.jpg
Wow I like that! I have a ton of 6 x 6 panels that my brother gave to me, just might have to throw something together. As far as hail goes, never seen it here so I think I’m in the clear!

One year I definitely want to do all dwarves, but there are a lot of full size plants on my wish list too.
Wet and windy side of a Hawaiian island, growing year round and the struggle is real.

zeuspaul
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Re: Best no prune stake/cage/trellis technique?

#17

Post: # 15010Unread post zeuspaul
Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:44 am

Also to provide partial shade in hot sunny areas it would be easy to lay a lattice on top.
pondgardner wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 2:54 pm
With either one of those options, if hail was forecast, you could quickly set some sort of cover on top.

zeuspaul
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Re: Best no prune stake/cage/trellis technique?

#18

Post: # 15125Unread post zeuspaul
Fri Mar 27, 2020 2:31 am

@SQWIB what vertical spacing are you using between the vertical layers? Horizontal size of the squares?

That is similar to what I am doing in post 6 of this thread but I grow in rows. I have experimented with different vertical spacing but have settled on 12 to 14 inches. I use 24 inch horizontal spacing because I like to crawl down the center of the row for planting and maintenance.

Large spacing has much better access. I was prepping my cage set ups today and what a pain. I leave them up all year and the weeds were out of control. :(
SQWIB wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 1:27 pm
5876720532_1a5886181f_b.jpg

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SQWIB
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Re: Best no prune stake/cage/trellis technique?

#19

Post: # 15129Unread post SQWIB
Fri Mar 27, 2020 6:51 am

@zeuspaul
Those are not mine, I use Texas Tomato Cages

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