Saturday, June 15, 2013

Florida Weave Trellis

This year I decided to expand my tomato growing, because I am obssessed with heirloom tomatoes.  I realized by expanding the amount of tomato plants I am growing this year, I would also have to increase the amount of tomato cages I have.  I usually use foldable triangle tomato cages and traditional round cages, but I didn't want to have to buy more for this year so I started researching online other ways to support my tomato plants.  I learned about a method called "Florida Weave" and was hooked immediately.  This method is used by a lot of farmers and also by home gardeners as I found out.  When using the Florida Weave method you use support stakes with twine to create the trellis.  I first placed my end posts using metal "T" posts that I bought at Home Depot for around $4.00 a piece.  To put them in the ground I used a post pounder that my Dad got me for my birthday this past year.  It was a lot easier then using a hammer.  I then placed more "T" posts in between every third tomato plant.  The next step is adding the twine once your plants are about 6 inches high.  I am using a nylon twine, but you can use any type of twine.  I started by tying the twine to one of the end posts and then started weaving it in between the tomatoes and support post until I got to the other end.  I then wrapped the twine around the end post and made my way back to the starting post weaving in and out of the tomato plants and support posts creating a figure eight pattern.  I will be repeating this weaving pattern as the tomato plants continue to grow, about every 6 inches I will add another weave.  The other important step is to make sure you remove the suckers from your plants as they grow, this will keep them from getting out of control.  I have done the weaving twice on my tomatoes and will probably have to do a third by the end of this week.  So far it is supporting the tomato plants very well and it is pretty easy to do.  Plus I didn't have to go out and buy more cages!   Here are some pictures of the Florida Weave method in my garden and also a diagram I found online.  There are also many good videos on You Tube demonstrating this technique.  Happy Gardening!

 









6 comments:

  1. I may try this idea next season.

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    1. So far it is working really well. I do see the importance of removing the suckers or they will get out of control. I had to add another row of weaving tonight, which makes it 3 rows. They are growing so fast, I really have to keep up with the trellis.

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    2. Glad to hear that it's working. What type of tomatoes did you plant?

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    3. I have a post titled "So Many Tomatoes So Little Space" and have most of the tomatoes I am growing listed there. Since I wrote the post I have added a few more.

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  2. i'm planning on doing that this year. but i've been too lazy to put the posts in so far.

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    1. Don't wait too long, the bigger the plants the harder it is to weave the twine. I am on my third row of weaving already. My tomato plants are growing fast and I will definitely have to keep up with them! Thanks for the comment.

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