I always have to try something new in my garden. This year it’s a new tomato trellis and some potato towers.
I made the potato towers in March by creating a cylinder out of welded wire fencing, lining it with straw and filling it with layers of dirt/compost and potatoes. You can see them in the middle above. I did three kinds of regular potatoes and the fourth will be for sweet potatoes when it warms a bit more. The potatoes are beginning to send up greens on top and out the sides.
The tomato trellis is a version of what most greenhouse growers use, called a lower and lean system. Mine is not as intense because I had to make due with what I had to build the structure. Normally the supports would be much taller than mine. I used seven foot tpost at the corners and evenly spaced every 5 feet or so on the row.
Electric fence insulators on the tposts hold a wire running across the top of each side of the row. I added tposts a couple feet from either end and used a ratchet strap to pull them tight so they wouldn’t lean in when I pulled on the wire.
Lastly, I ordered these hanging spools of twine and tomato clips from Amazon.
As the plants grow, you clip them to the twine. The clips fit loosely around the vine but grip onto the twine. When the plants reach the top, you begin to lower (let more twine off the spool) and lean them to the side.
An important part of this process is keeping the plants well pruned. You have to vigilantly remove suckers so you have one main stem. Then as the plants gets taller, you keep the bottom leaves trimmed back too. That’s going to be the hardest part for me to keep up with.
If all goes well I’ll have a really long tomato vine covered with fruit that’s all accessible because the plant is growing at an angle, not straight up 🤞
What new idea or project are you trying in your garden this year?