Tomato Trellis Gardening: Using a Tomato Trellis to Maximize Your Harvest

 

Growing tomatoes is such a popular summertime activity that it could possibly be considered the American pastime, perhaps second only to baseball. Every spring, millions of home find at least some small space in their yard or garden, or even a spot on their deck or patio, for growing a plant or two. In this article, we are going to explore the idea of growing tomatoes on trellises, and how this unique alternative to staking or caging can lead to bigger and better harvests.

The question of whether gardeners should provide support for tomato plants is one that has been hotly debated in the gardening world. Some purists believe that tomato plants should be left to sprawl on the ground naturally. While it is true that allowing plants to lie on the ground will usually lead to bigger plants, it doesn’t typically mean that you’ll get a larger harvest. This is because tomato plants in contact with the ground run a much higher risk of blight and other diseases, as well as pest infestations. Furthermore, when fruit is touching the ground it tends to rot easily and will often become infested with bugs before the gardener has a chance to harvest. Heavily mulching the ground with wood mulch or straw can help provide some protective barrier, but tomato plants left to sprawl will still experience a much higher rate of fruit rot and blight.

Most typically, gardeners use tomato as a way of staking their plants. These small wire can be round or square, and are installed at the time of planting, providing support for the growing stems and heavy fruit as the plant gets bigger. The primary problem with is that the plants often outgrow them by mid to late summer, leaving gardeners with overgrown foliage that droops down to the ground. Another issue may be that the begin falling or blowing over because they aren’t sturdy enough to support the weight of a fully grown plant and all its fruit.

One interesting alternative to cages is the tomato . Trellises can provide excellent support for a large plant, because they allow it to continually grow up rather than out. If the is well supported at both the top and bottom (for example, if you can attach the top to the side of your house, garage, or shed), it will easily hold the full weight of a tomato plant at summer’s end.

Tomato trellises also afford gardeners the ability to grow more plants in a smaller space. Typically, one tomato plant would require a plot of ground about three to four foot square, so as to leave enough room to walk around and harvest the fruit all summer long. With a trellis, each plant may only require a one to two foot square area, meaning you can double, or possibly even triple, the number of plants you grow in one small area.

Last but not least, because a tomato trellis keeps the stems and foliage at a higher reach, maintaining the plants and harvesting the fruit is much easier on the gardener because less stooping and bending is required. Trellises are an excellent solution for older gardener afflicted by arthritis or disabled persons constrained to a wheelchair.

So if you count yourself among the many gardeners who enjoy raising homegrown tomatoes in the summer months, consider trellises this year as an alternative to cages. You may find that it leads to an easier gardening experience and a bigger harvest of tomatoes than you’ve ever had in the past!

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