THIS ARTICLE FIRST APPEARED ON COMMON SENSE HOME.
Tired of wimpy tomato cages? In this post, I’ll be sharing my tomato trellis system, as well as several other tomato trellis ideas from my homesteading blogger friends. We have trellises that are wind resistant, tall, short, funky and budget friendly. I’m sure you’ll be able to find a tomato trellis that works in your garden.
I came up with our tomato trellis system after experimenting with cages made out of heavy duty fencing and wooden garden stakes. It’s strong enough to stand up to our windy conditions, tall enough to accommodate 6 foot indeterminate tomatoes, and open enough to keep harvest time from being a contortionist act. Once we get trellises up and mulch down, we tie up the vines every so often as they get taller. That’s it.
At the end of the season, I clip off the dead tomato plants, and wash the ties for reuse. (I untie the ties and put them in a zippered pillow case in the washing machine.) We stack the stakes and posts in the greenhouse to use again next year.
6 Reasons to Use a Tomato Trellis
Using a tomato trellis requires more effort than simply letting your tomatoes sprawl all over the place, but here’s why you should trellis your tomato plants:
- More tomatoes – Growing up instead of out allows you to grow more tomatoes in less space.
- No gymnastics required for picking – fruit is easy to access on your living tomato fence. I have not so fond memories of strange stretching and balancing in my mom’s garden in an attempt to reach ripe tomatoes in a vast expanse of tomato thicket.
- Less wasted fruit – Ask anyone who’s been gardening for a while, and I’m sure they’ve found overripe tomatoes hiding in the patch. With a trellis, you can see your tomatoes to pick all your tomatoes.
- Less Disease – Trellises provide better air circulation to plants, reducing diseases that thrive in damp, crowded conditions and soil-borne diseases.
- Cleaner tomatoes – No more mud and dust covered fruit.
- Less rodent and bug damage – I’m not saying that you’ll have no damage, but critters generally do less damage when fruit is harder to reach.