Tomato Support Idea

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Since I'm cutting way back on my tomato plants this season, I think I'll try a different method to support the plants. I use the green steel fence posts that you buy at any hardware store 5' tall. All the other years I used a single stake per plant which worked ok but constant tying here and there is necessary and some branches still break due to the weight of the fruit. Since I'll have an excess of fence posts this season, I plan to put 3 stakes around each plant in the shape of a triangle. I'll run parachute cord from stake to stake at several different heights. It should work kind of like a tomato cage except much stronger as each stake will be a foot or more into the ground and the cross members will be of parachute cord and not wire. Each stake forming the triangle, I'll place eight or nine inches from the plant. By doing this, I think that I may be able to get as big a harvest even though I'm setting out half the amount of plants. When using a single stake, I would prune the plant in order to have one or two main stems. I should now be able to allow at least four main stems per plant. I do realize the size of the fruit may not be as large but the volume of fruit should surpass the difference. Any opinions on this idea?
Rich from PA zone 5-6
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On Dec 28, 12:16 am, White snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (EVP MAN) wrote:

The Amish around here, DE run 2 lines of fencing about 5' tall and about 18" to 2' apart and grow between them. They remove lots of the leaves, and their vines are loaded with 'maters. Easy to reach and totally in view. nanzi
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Yes, I can see where that would work very well provided your plants are all in a straight row. But for my purpose, I need a support method for each individual plant. I'd also like to utilize the stakes and parachute cord which I already have on hand :)
Rich
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On Dec 29, 12:02 pm, White snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (EVP MAN) wrote:

e

for

Where do you get parachute cord?
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I bought a 1000 ft. spool at Amazon. It's not real cheap at $50 a spool but the stuff lasts a very long time.
Rich
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On Wed, 29 Dec 2010 12:43:11 -0800 (PST), Higgs Boson

My question is _will_ the cord support the plants? Some reason I think it would have to be really taunt or it would sag, and not give the support needed.
<thinking out loud>
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The breaking strength on parachute cord in 550 lbs. If you soak the cord in water for a short while before you use it, the cord will shrink a small amount. The cord is about 3/16" in diameter. The problem I had when I used the store bought wire tomato cages was that the branches of my plants would bend down over the wire cage and snap off. I think the problem with the cages is the fact that the wire doesn't have any give to it and the branches tend to break instead. The parachute cord will indeed have some give and it's a bit heaver in diameter also. Hopefully this should work better than the cages. I'll also drive the steel stakes into the ground at least a foot or more which should make a good sturdy support.
Rich
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EVP MAN wrote:

There is no way to maintain a dialog with you. Why don't you quote who/what you're responding to? You're essentially talking to yourself as though in a sanitorium. Weird dude.
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In my heading I had (nanzi) and that was who I was responding to. I use web tv to post and not a computer. Perhaps things look different in this discuss group to those who use computers. On my web tv, it all looks very normal just as it should and it's very clear who I respond to. I usually don't respond at all to rude people but just wanted to clear this up for others who may use the group!
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Oren wrote:

I tried webtv when it first appeared, like 20 years ago. You were able to quote then but needed to know how to manipulate their keyboard... now I understand that quoting is even easier. The only reason webtv'ers don't quote is the same that some pc users don't trim posts, pure laziness.
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No problem on my end! This isn't such a huge traffic group that we can't figure it out. I'd rather have you here even if your posting isnt the same as the big groups use (which is very hard to do with Web TV I gather).
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On 12/29/2010 12:27 PM, Nanzi wrote:

I think the idea will work fine, as others have pointed out. As to your last observation, yes - that is a likely bet, and has been my experience, too. I'll trade many medium size fruits for few very large fruits every time. Since I grow a large-fruited tomato to begin with, I still get lots of fruits of tennis ball size.
Tony M.
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I just click respond to the post I'm reading. I have to type in on the subject line myself.
I just responded to your post but now I'll go up and remove Brooklyn from the subject line before I hit send.
The people who create groups using web tv are considered the group owner. The group owner can also ban trouble makers from using his or her group. Once a ban is in place, the person can read the posts but they can't post or respond to others in the group. It's kind of a shame this group don't seem to have a owner with the same web tools.
Rich
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Web tv must not ad a portion of the thread I respond to. It doesn't do it automatically or give me that option. The only choice I have is to read a thread and then hit respond and let web tv do it's thing......LOL That's why I type the persons nick in the subject line at times to let them know I'm responding to their post. I'd rather grow and eat matters also :) .............. Rich
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On Wed, 29 Dec 2010 21:06:24 -0800, Oren wrote:

"There should be", but web-tv is crippled on purpose. It is designed to be easy to use, like a tv-set, and you only get a few lines of text at a time. Of course this "ease of use" makes it very difficult to do anything other than the few easy tasks.
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Really can't make sauce from cherry/salad tomatoes, they contain way too much water... I tried, they need to be cooked so long to reduce that it no longer tastes anything like tomato.... I remember simmering that 27 quart pot for more than 30 hours.... a total waste of time, effort, energy, and tomatoes.
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Brooklyn1 <Gravesend1> wrote:

True, I use Roma's for sauce. Blanch, remove skin and seeds and just use the pulp. Outside of eating the little ones straight up or in salads, I sometimes toss them in my chili.
--
Enjoy Life... Nad R (Garden in zone 5a Michigan)

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Why did you put an apostrophe in "Roma's"?
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it is the auto spell checker, for quick messages I often do not reread. More often than not the auto spell checker works great. I am also getting use to my new glasses with these so called progressive lenses. It sucks getting old. As I rock in my chair and type this message, blurry.. Clear.. Blurry... Clear... Keep head still !!!
--
Enjoy Life... Nad R (Garden in zone 5a Michigan)

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Yes, I can see where the work will provide a good plant
All in a straight row. But for me, I need a support method Each plant.
--
phillipsdenman


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