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DIY Tomato Supports

In Colorado, tomatoes are finally here! Our May was cold and wet, which is unusual for sunny Colorado, setting plantings and harvests back 2 to 3 weeks. So while our tomatoes usually start coming in around July 4, it is now the 3rd week of July, and I finally have tomatoes.

Tomatoes are one of several crops that are best grown in your own garden. The homegrown flavors of picked-when-ripe, fresh tomatoes, snap beans, peas, or corn are worth the effort. This year I tried a new support system with my tomatoes, and so far it is my favorite because it is easy to set up, use, and store. And it's reusable year after year!

My new method is similar to the stake-and-weave method, but it's easier. I used sturdy wire mesh panels (concrete remesh or hog panels work well) attached to 8' fencing t-posts. I hung the mesh with the bottom about 1' above the ground and attached it to t-posts using zip-ties. I planted my tomatoes 2' apart in line with the support. While I am in the garden, I can simply weave the tomato tops back and forth through the grid pattern. I do this once a week, maybe twice, while I scout for ripe tomatoes, pests, and disease. At the end of the season, I can simply remove frost-killed vegetation, snip the zip ties, pull the t-posts and store the panels and t-posts flat, outdoors, for years of use. These are also great for creating permanent trellises rotating between peas, pole beans, melons, watermelon, cucumbers or any other climbers. I love seeing my tall, thin, yet strong wall of tomatoes. This system is simple, space efficient, reusable, and keeps plants off the ground, improving airflow and reducing the risk of soilborne diseases. It helps make weeding a snap!

Every year my gardening efforts open my eyes to new opportunities and ideas to improve colors, flavors, and methods—my skills and enjoyment grow right alongside it.



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DIY Tomato Supports Comments

2 comments
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Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Feb 18, 2020
I've used tomato cages, Florida weave and tomato stakes and am still looking for a better method. This looks like a fast and easy way of supporting tomatoes. I used cattle fencing to trellis cucumbers last year and it worked good. I'm going to try this method for my tomatoes this year.
Debbie

Blog Title
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Feb 18, 2020
Sounds great but it would help if you could explain some of the terms you use in this sentence: "sturdy wire mesh panels (concrete remesh or hog panels work well) attached to 8' fencing t-posts." I do not know what wire mesh panels (or the examples) are and I do not know what "t-posts" are.
Lewis
Owner Response: Hi Lewis, Thanks for the question. Remesh is a cheaper option than cattle or hog fence panels, but it is not as sturdy and will rust. Remesh is a flat, metal grid panel used to stabilize concrete and can be found in the concrete section of a hardware store. The images might be helpful for a visual representation. Hog or cattle panels are fencing panels used in livestock operations and for general fencing and look similar to remesh but are sturdier, rust-proof, and also more expensive. T-posts are posts that are driven into the ground vertically to support fencing. T-posts are straight, often green, and have a spade shape at the bottom which helps to anchor them into the ground. They can also be found in the fencing section of a hardware store.