Has anyone ever tried the stake and weave to support tomatoes and bell
peppers? Looks like a pretty good system to me because you use a whole
lot less stakes which can be kind of expensive these days! I do know
that big growers in Florida use this system quite a bit on large scale
operations. I was just wondering how many home gardeners have tried it
and if so, how did it work out for you? Also, if you can recommend
any variation of this method I would like to hear about it. I will be
putting out around two dozen plants this spring and need to save some
money while also giving my plants some good support to keep them off the
ground. Any suggestions would be more than welcomed :) Thanks so much
On Sat, 13 Feb 2010 02:15:40 -0500, White_Noise firstname.lastname@example.org (EVP MAN)
Isn't stake and weave a technique advanced knitters employ. LOL
Sounds like you're not very sure that you want to grow vegetables
every year... this is your first time, right. If you intend to grow
each year ask your medical professional for a *CBD immunization shot.
Stake and weave is fine if you have lots of illegals to perform all
the labor. And as you've noted decent stakes ain't cheap and don't
last long, often they don't last the season. For home grown I've
found the square/triangular foldable vinyl clad steel wire cages are
best; they offer the best support without damaging plants, are
virtually labor free, they last years and years and years and years,
and fold flat for storage. I don't like the welded cone shaped cages
and the DIY kind made from concrete reinforcement wire are worse.
*Cheap Bastard Disease
We were thinking of two closely spaced rows of fence (probably
vinyl), the maters between them. Put up with steel fence posts.
Seems to me I heard that here last year. If you have anything pro or
con, let me know.
Hi Jeff, the Amish farm we patronize grows their 'Maters this way. and
they remove many of the leaves to cut down the need for water.There
are always loads of tomatoes on their vines, and no falling over!! I
hope to try this this year. We had a terrible garden year last summer.
Too cold and wet, and that damn tomato blight.
Speaking of tomato blight, I understood, the virus which causes it
comes out of the soil. If that is true, what do we do this year? Treat
the soil? Please don't say garden in another spot, that would be way
too much work for a couple of old farts.
Nan in DE
sorry, but you really should plant in a different spot. did you have
Early or Late blight? has your ground frozen solid?
freezing kills a lot of the spores, but if you had late blight,
you're better off growing tomatoes in a different location or in pots
for at least 3 years.
I hope to grow vegetables for quite a few years to come in my home
garden :) Last year I only grew tomatoes but this year I'm adding to
the list and will have more plants that require support. Last season I
used a single steel T-post for each plant. The green kind that's used
to install a fence. They are around $4 each in my area but are strong
and should last for many years to come. My tall plants that need stakes
will all be in a straight row so I figure if I can use the stake and
weave method, I'll only use one stake between every third plant thus
saving myself some expense. I plan to use parachute cord which is very
strong and weathers well between the stakes. I will prune my tomato
plants to a single main stem and plant them about 20" apart in the row.
The row will be about 3'x40'. I will plant onions and other lower
growing crops in front of the taller ones to utilize as much growing
space as I can. The reason I wondered if others have tried the stake
and weave support method is because I'm a bit concerned when thunder
storms come this summer and we get the high winds along with the storm.
Last year we had a single 15 minute storm that broke the main stem on a
few plants even though each one was tied to a single support stake. As
for using cages, I tried them a few years back and just don't care for
them at all. They take a lot of room to store which I don't have much
of. The wire that most cages are made of is flimsy but don't have any
give at all to it. I found that when my plants got heavy with fruit the
branches would break right where they went through the wire of the cage.
I do understand there are lot's of different types of cages that may
work very well including home made ones. BUT, I'm looking for an easy
method that offers good support and is cost efficient as well. Also,
no storage required come winter. I would just let the steel T-posts in
place come winter.
huh? buy 6-8' grade stakes from Agway. i've been using the same
stakes for going on 10 years now. if you use bamboo they only last
maybe 3-5 years, especially if you leave them out all winter.
i tried making a bean teepee from Norway maple branches last summer,
trying to get some value from a trash tree, but they collapsed under
the weight of the beans.
yeah, those *are* nice. where did you get yours, & how many tomatoes
do you usually grow?
they work passably for determinate varieties, but really are useless
I bought mine some 20 years ago, Home Depot... don't recall the price
but they weren't very expensive... they also open up flat to use as a
trellis for beans and snow peas. I put in anywhere from 30-50 tomato
plants... cherry tomatoes and other small kinds don't
really need support... I use weed block fabric from LeeValley.com,
very heavy weight, lasts many years... smaller tomatoes can lay on it
with no damage. I someti9mes find myself with an abundance of tomato
plants so I put those inside my fenced foundation plant beds, the
tomatoes lay right on the pine bark nuggets with mo problems. I use
the cages for the larger/heavier bearing tomatoes. I like that the
cages open up, makes it easy to remove when not really needed and
place around a plant that needs the support. Nurseries probably
should classify tomato plants and tomato cages like bra sizes. LOL
I'm sure vinyl clad galvanized wire is available in rolls... for
someone who is handy with a pair of diagonal cutter pliers and round
nose forming pliers it would be no biggie to make ones own... can't be
any more difficult than when I made up my turkey wire fencing with
removeable gates and bent back all the ends so there are no sharp
points to jab me. For hinges simply form rings similar to split key
Mother Earth News, way back in the 70s (i think), had plans for these
raised (about 6") wire mesh platforms to lay your tomato vines on to
keep the fruit off the ground. seemed to me to be an awful lot of
work when a good mulch would do the same job with far less cost &
effort. while there may be some issues with slugs hiding in mulch, a
bit of Slugg-o takes care of that.
I have seen one gardener use this method for several years, if I
understand the "stake and weave" correctly. It is a low cost system and
he set it up quickly. He used 8 ft long notched coated steel poles
spaced every 5 ft for 50 ft. Then used garden twine continuously wrapped
around the poles and tied the twine at the ends with short ground
stakes. He had several rows for determinate tomatoes, peas and green
beans. However, his garden had tall shrubs around his garden which helps
block strong winds. One will also have to train the plants, labor cost
will be higher. One can train them while weeding. The direction of the
staked rows may be important to help the plants climb. Direction I am
not sure which is best, his was north & south.
I may try this system myself for beans & peas. My garden space does have
strong winds, so I may try a test spot for the tomatoes. I plan on at
least 50 tomato plants. I do not think this will work for many types of
low height peppers or the bush like tomatoes.
Enjoy Life... Dan
Not here. I only ever have seen it used by the commercial growers
that once existed, pre-NAFTA, in the neighboring county to the south of
me. I use combinations of bamboo and 6" mesh, 5' tall galvanized field
fencing. For a number of reasons, field wire is superior to that
concrete reinforcing wire.
I use the wire to:
Cage indeterminate tomatoes;
Trellis garden peas.
I use the bamboo to:
Anchor the cages;
Anchor the trellis;
Stake determinate tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, etc.
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