Trellis Tips: How to Set Your Tomatoes Up for Success in the Garden
Tomato plants aren't difficult to grow with rich soil and full sun-- they even sprout out of compost piles and corners of the garden from previous years. As effortless they make it seem, these plants require some extra attention to ensure longevity and good fruit production. The stems and leaves grow tall and fast, and are often too weak to support themselves without help. The best way to grow healthy tomato plants is to support them with a trellis or cage that keeps the plant upright and off of the ground.
"Basket weaving" is an inexpensive way to support multiple tomato plants at once. This method also allows for good airflow around the stems and leaves. Farmer Ryan gave us some great tips today on how to bolster our Moskvich, Golden Nugget, and Glacier tomato plants.
- Pound 6' wooden stakes in the ground, every third tomato plant (in our case, we used one stake on either side of the raised bed frame).
- Use jute or synthetic twine to run lines from stake to stake, weaving back and forth around the tomato plants. This is referred to a "figure-8" style. The alternating twine will hold each plant in place, with the leaves resting on the line of support (see photo below).
- Tie a new line to the trellis 8" above the last rung, every couple of weeks as your plants continue to grow
- Prioritize 1-2 leading stems of the plant when incorporating plants into the trellis, these will allow your plant to put its energy into forming flowers and fruit.
- Water at the base of the plant and not on top of the leaves.
- If your plants need a haircut, only prune when foliage is dry to avoid spreading diseases.
- Trim lower leaves touching the ground and suckers between the main stem and leaf.
- Use organic fertilizer after heavy pruning to replenish nutrients in the soil.
This trellis design will protect your plants during summer rains and makes for easy harvesting!
The Seedsheet Team
That is a great question. You will definitely want to start by pulling all of the weeds that you can, making sure that you are getting the entire root system with the plant when you pull them. This will ensure that the plants that you are sowing will not have to compete with any weeds over the course of their growing process. Next, you will want to use a trowel and rake to till up the soil a bit (making sure that you pick out any roots that you find along the way), so that it is loosened, allowing for your plants root’s make their way through. Lastly, you will probably want to add some compost or potting soil back into the raised bed, because the weeds will have depleted the nutrient reserves in the soil that is currently in there. We hope this information helps and definitely email us if you have anymore specific questions about you garden.
Hi, we are very interested in purchasing some of your custom 8 X 4 seedsheets. We currently have a raised garden but it was overgrown by weeds in the fall. Currently, most of the weeds are dead, but there is still quite a bit of (mostly dead?) vegetation. Can you give us some understanding of what we would need to do before we could use your seedsheets? Thanks!
The Seedsheet Team
We don’t suggest removing the fabric at any point during the growing process. It has several functions that are beneficial to the garden. It helps block any weeds from growing so that you are sure, anything that grows out of the sheet is what you have planted. It also keeps moisture from evaporating from the soil on hot days and lastly it can keep some critters from getting into your garden as well. Let us know if you have any other questions.
Do we ever remove the mat?
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