Supporting giant tomatoes

Gardening to 'grow your own food' from square foot to half an acre !!
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kitla
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Supporting giant tomatoes

Post by kitla »

Last year I grew a couple of these in the greenhouse which were quite successful, they tasted good & were great for cooking & freezing, so I'm going to try again this year. My only problem was how to support the weight of the big tomatoes to stop them breaking the stems. Last year I had string all over the place holding them up & wondered if there's a more efficient, "proper" way to do it?
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Freeranger
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Re: Supporting giant tomatoes

Post by Freeranger »

I think gardening twine is fairly standard, and most greenhouses have lugs in the frames to thread the twine through. You wind the stem around the vertical twine to make sure they grow supported from the outset and would be less strained by heavy fruit. Twist just under a leaf to stop it falling back. Secure the bottom end of the twine by passing it under the pot/grow bag - or to a large stone. You can add horizontals later if you want, but this shouldn't be necessary - the main support is vertical.
If you're growing them in pots with canes, the stems won't just twist and stay as they will in the method above. You can use twine again, lashing a few turns around the cane first at the point where you want to tie the stem in. Leave yourself two ends to tie it off.
If you're worried about the tomato sets being supported themselves, I'm not sure it's such a problem because the plant evolved to take them. I have seen a friend use strips of an old cotton shirt as a little sling, also tied to the vertical twine. It's best really to have air flow. You might want to pick some of a particularly heavy set early.
Remove leaves from the bottom up to the first set, and pinch out the top leaves after about shoulder height, then the plant is sturdy and the growth goes into flowers/tomatoes instead - probably more but smaller.
Everyone has their own tips on tomatoes, though, so someone else may say this is all rubbish and give you their version.
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KarenE
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Re: Supporting giant tomatoes

Post by KarenE »

Agree with FRs comments about stripping the leaves and stems, and pinching out top growth and side shoots too. I support mine with canes, and as the plant throws sturdy stems to the sides I support them too. I grow half mine in the greenhouse and half outside, so canes are the easiest way for me to grow them )t'
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