I have 5 of the spirals I bought from the local garden center a few
years ago. They are 5' tall and are a very strong metal of some sort.
They do indeed work but the drawback is that you must prune the tomato
plant down to a single stem.
This is great if you would like to produce a very small number of very
large tomatoes per plant but otherwise it is not too practical. They
are also too short for the tomato plants we grow in Tennessee so if I
use them, I have to top the plant out at 5'. They work pretty good for
cucumber vines but are a little short for that purpose as well. I am
sure I will find a good use for them, eventually.
I support most of my plants with a simple trellis system. I go to the
local lumber yard and buy some 10 foot long 2x2's. I use a power saw
to put a point on each one. I get out the ladder and a sledgehammer
them down about a foot into the garden soil and space them about 10
I then attach nylon string trellis (from the local co-op) with
thumbtacks or staples. My garden is wide enough for three of these
stakes across and they will easily support 6 large plants, fully
loaded. I prune the plants to about 3 main stems and get both large
tomatoes and good production. I would not recommend doing this
yourself if you don't have someone to hold the ladder steady, if you
are small of stature or you are physically challenged by age or
infirmity since climbing a ladder and then driving stakes down with a
sledgehammer takes considerable balance and strength.
Zone 6B - Tennessee
Thanks for the info on those spirals. I didn't get them because they just
seemed too short. I regularly grow tomato plants over 6 feet high so they
wouldn't work for me.
I may just try the cages or try a trellis system like you described.
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