Tying Tomatoes

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This year I planted my tomatoes in holes filled with mulch and as a result I'm getting bigger plants than I am used to. The problem is keeping them tied up. I need so much material to tie them that I have started using twine rather than the traditonal cloth strips torn from old sheets. Is twine the standard for those who don't use cages?
Thanks
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I have never used twine and I guess it would work. I have used the spools of twist-tie as well However, I usually collect old bed sheets, etc. and cut/tear into strips. I think the cloth ties work better and don't cut into the plant.
--
Al Reid



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Are the twist ties Ok to use? won't they constrict the width of the stems? I used them and now I'm think maybe I better either losen them or use something else.
wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@excite.com wrote:

I wouldn't but I suppose that you could as long as there is ample room in the loop around the plant to let the stems increase in diameter. I'd be leary though as the plant gets larger that the weight of the plant itself may be enough to let the small wire internal to the twistie cut into the stem. Dunno though as I've never used them.
--
Steve
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I really wasn't real happy with them on tomatoes. They would break or come untied or, if not really careful they would cut into the stem. If I got them tight enough to do any good, later as the stem got thicker it would cut into it. I never lost a plant because of it, but I just wasn't happy with them. The cloth was easier to get off at the end of the season and are re-usable.
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Dave wrote:

had a problem.
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Bill B wrote:

I have cages around mine and do not tie them at all. It's probably too late to put cages around yours since they're so big, but it's something to think about next year.
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I have been growing tomatoes for over 20 years and have always staked and tied. What to you believe the advantages are to using cages?
I have the materials laying around to make them is it is really a better way to go.
Thanks,
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I use cages made from concrete reinforcing wire panels, they stand about 4 feet tall. The openings in the cage is big enough to sneak hands in, fruit out. No tying required, just tuck the odd branch back into the cage. Makes a great mini-greenhouse for early starts. I have mine wired up as cages, so need room for storage. Could store these guys flat though.
Plants are pouring out the top by mid-season, and I don't have to worry about taking care of them.. as long as the cage is secured to not tip over!
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I would love to use cages, but here they would have to be 8 ft. tall and I'm not sure I want to store 20--8ft tall cages made out of rebar all winter long. The only tomatos we have that were around 4 ft. tall are the Romas.
--
Garland Grower
Home garden is about 50 sq ft.
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Bill B wrote:

I use twine as well, I tie a loop around the plant and leave it very loose, secured with a square knot and then tie the other end of the twine to the stake. I have the cages but they are a p.i.t.a. as fas as I'm concerned. Just try to get at the fruit at the bottom of the plants. Just another gimmick to get $ outta your pocket. Geeze, how did folks in the old days every grow 'em without all of this fancy stuff? ;-)
--
Steve
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A well designed cage works great, almost no maintenance, just poke the growing tips back inside.
An example... http://www.gardenerssupply.com/Shopping/sell.asp?ProdGroupID 172&DeptPGID693&lstCategory=0&RecGroupNum=1 I found them slightly cheaper elsewhere, but you could build similar.
I let my tomatoes grow wild, no pruning. I end up with 6-7 foot tall 2 foot wide bushes. The ones by the porch steps I actually ran string down to the cage and they grew up the string after filling the cage--then I had to tie them. But if I have to tie a few vines that are 9-10 feet in the air I'll struggle with that extra work.
The trick is large openings on the cage. I have big hands and getting to any fruit has never been an issue. I see my landlord's staked tomatoes. He pinches, ties them, they sag, they droop. Eventually he just leaves them however they are. Never an issue with these particualr cages.
And they are folding and re-usable. They were worth the investment. I'm looking at buying another four this year to deal with my expanded garden.

DiGiTAL ViNYL (no email) Zone 6b/7, Westchester Co, NY, <1 mile off L.I.Sound 3rd year gardener http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/royalfrazier/album?.dir=/2055&.src=ph
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http://www.gardenerssupply.com/Shopping/sell.asp?ProdGroupID 172&DeptPGID693&lstCategory=0&RecGroupNum=1
The Gardener's Supply site also has tomato ladders. I ordered them last year but after I got them I was skeptical about them. I called them and wanted to return them, but they said to use it and if it didn't work to send them back for a refund at the end of the season. Well, they worked very well, and I ordered more this year.
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DigitalVinyl wrote:

http://www.gardenerssupply.com/Shopping/sell.asp?ProdGroupID 172&DeptPGID693&lstCategory=0&RecGroupNum=1
own I guess.
--
Steve
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Do you pinch out a lot? That's why I went with cages. First year I tried to stake and the thing was growing so fast and flushing out, i really didn't like the idea of pinching out so much. I'm sure people probalby get larger tomatoes with pinching/staking
To me,I don't think you can stake/tie without managing the growth of the plant regualrly and limitng it to the one or two vines per stake. Also my stakes are only about 6 feet, too small for tomatoes. My landlord pinches/stakes and I outproduce him, though he gets some larger tomatoes.
I also used two of these cages at either end of a garden bed. In between I ran bamboo and string for beans to climb up, which worked well for me. SO their stability acted as supports for more than my tomatoes.
DiGiTAL ViNYL (no email) Zone 6b/7, Westchester Co, NY, <1 mile off L.I.Sound 3rd year gardener http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/royalfrazier/album?.dir=/2055&.src=ph
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DigitalVinyl wrote:

Nah, I just kind of tie 'em so that they stay up and not laying all over the ground. I'm not real big into snipping, pruning, etc. I just don't want 'em laying on the ground.
--
Steve
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I cage mine, but I've had very vigorous plants just throwing big vines outside the cage and those I use twine with. Just never tie them so tight the stem can't expand. The thickest tomatoe stems I've had are about 1/2"-5/8" diamter. Any loop of 3/4" more should be good even for a 12 foot tall vine.
For the very reason you are experiencing I will never not use cages. I've had a lot of vigor in my plants and they are simply too big to stake. I also prefer a lot of medium sized tomatoes rather than trying to force gigantic beefsteaks for show/novelty.
DiGiTAL ViNYL (no email) Zone 6b/7, Westchester Co, NY, <1 mile off L.I.Sound 3rd year gardener http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/royalfrazier/album?.dir=/2055&.src=ph
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I use green survey tape. Works great.
John!
Dave wrote:

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in article snipped-for-privacy@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com, Dave at galt snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote on 6/22/05 9:06 AM:

hydroponic growers.
The support tomatoes from a wire or bar that is above the height of the tomatoes. I am sure that a home gardener can adapt the method.
A synthtic cord of at least thirty feet length is wound upon a bracket or a reel. This is hung from the main support. The cord is dropped down to the level of the tomatoes. Plastic support clips are used that simultenously clamp onto the cord and around the tomato stem. These clips can be unsnapped for the next season.
Hydroponic growers usually have a maximum height they use both because of greenhouse costs and the labor for tending the tomatoes. As the plant grows, they unreel or unwind string. This drops the portion of stem from which tomatoes have been harvested while providing access to the new growth and new tomatoes. This way, they can get 30 feet of vine within a limited height.
I put some screw eyes in the eaves of my house from which I hang tomatoes. For another spot, I stretched a wire between two by four posts.
Unfortunately, I do not know what the official names for such items are, but a Google search for tomato support or a similar term ought to get you to a vendor. These items, even at boutique hydroponics stores, will cost less than tomato cages.
Bill
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They other day I needed to tie a friend's tomato plant to a stake (I'm plant and fish-sitting while they are vacationing). I didn't have wire handy and was in a rush, so I broke a wild onion/chive plant that was growing from a crack in the patio. Threw off the flower head and used it like cord. Worked great for now. I think I'm just going to give them a cage to make it easy.
DiGiTAL ViNYL (no email) Zone 6b/7, Westchester Co, NY, <1 mile off L.I.Sound 3rd year gardener http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/royalfrazier/album?.dir=/2055&.src=ph
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