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Have a great invention to help with gardening? Are you the self-reliant type that prefers Building It Yourself vs. buying it? Share and discuss your ideas and projects with other members.

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Old March 28, 2016   #1
BackyardFarm
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Default Using a laundry clothes line to make a tomato trellis.

I would appreciate any thoughts or tips on this as this seems to be a project not yet undertaken according to google searches.

I was given a 8ft tall metal laundry clothes line. Two sturdy metal posts that are hollow (it's actually two pieces for each post that are slid -or rather pounded with a hammer or against the ground- together) and HEAVY. They each have five hooks attached securely. I saw them and thought "that's for my tomatoes!"

Now I have pounded in two four foot fence posts to hold them up (slid the posts over them) but since I hammered in about a foot, the fence posts seem too short to hold this is high winds. Perhaps some 7 or 8 foot tall fence posts? Rebar? I was told my best option was to cement them in with rebar in the center but I want to be able to take this down and move it each year for rotating the beds. So I am thinking I need to use fence posts or similar.

The plan is to run wire between each hook. I'm going to also add some wire to the end hooks and run them backwards to small fence posts or pieces of bent rebar to create some counter tension. I was thinking twine down from the wires to wrap my tomatoes single stem around.

The space the clothes line is covering is about 28ft long. They are 8ft tall. The beds are 4 ft wide. The cross bars with hooks cover those easily. Should I have a center post as well for support? I came up with this idea after looking at posts and books that describe greenhouse growing, I've never build something like this before...so I'm kinda winging it.

Oh and I think it will be easy to throw row cover/plastic over this in the spring or fall to protect from frost. Nice greenhouse effect hopefully? Last year we had that one heavy frost and then it was nice enough for over a MONTH if I only had rigged up something to keep them warm at night.

Alright. Thoughts? Am I doing this right?

Pictures will follow after I buy the two larger fence posts and get it back up.
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Old March 28, 2016   #2
rhines81
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A 28 foot run of string, assuming 14 full grown 30 pound plants, your creating around 1500 ft-lbs of torque on each post, equivalent to a 210 lb man hanging from the center. (Doing the math in my head).
You'd be much better off doing a Florida weave and also using 3 more supports with that length. Tomatoes need to be tied up as they grow or they just fall and sprawl...

A fantastic idea for beans however

Last edited by rhines81; March 28, 2016 at 08:13 PM. Reason: beans
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Old March 28, 2016   #3
timbucktwo
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Default Using a laundry clothes line to make a tomato trellis.



This is what I use.


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Last edited by timbucktwo; March 28, 2016 at 08:30 PM.
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Old March 28, 2016   #4
AlittleSalt
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I have one negative point. If the poles are in clay soil (Even if you pour 2 contactor's wheelbarrows completely full of concrete per pole) When the clay stays wet - the poles start to lean inwards at the top. I know this because my clothesline poles are doing that. To dig them up is going to take a whole lot of digging.
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Old March 28, 2016   #5
BackyardFarm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhines81 View Post
A 28 foot run of string, assuming 14 full grown 30 pound plants, your creating around 1500 ft-lbs of torque on each post, equivalent to a 210 lb man hanging from the center. (Doing the math in my head).
You'd be much better off doing a Florida weave and also using 3 more supports with that length. Tomatoes need to be tied up as they grow or they just fall and sprawl...

A fantastic idea for beans however
Well darn when you put it like that, it'll never hold. I was planning on roughly 36 tomatoes in there. Was going to wind the single stem around the twine as I went. Pruning as they grow. But Florida weave on each bed it is.

And also color me impressed with the math done in your head.

I am planning on doing pole beans on the other side of the garden so I will set it up over there instead.
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Old May 23, 2016   #6
Horsrfly
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I used earth anchors on each end to combat the sagging. Not a tresses but supports for stakes and cages.
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Last edited by Horsrfly; May 23, 2016 at 12:59 AM. Reason: Added picture
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Old May 23, 2016   #7
Cole_Robbie
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Trellising is a curse of success. If you weren't good enough at gardening to grow a big plant, this wouldn't be an issue.
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Old May 23, 2016   #8
MrSalvage
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horsrfly View Post
I used earth anchors on each end to combat the sagging. Not a tresses but supports for stakes and cages.
Nice touch with the improvise wind socks. Is that cpvc or pex your using to water the plants?

Also Cole_Robbie has a nice set up to trellis his here...


http://www.tomatoville.com/showthrea...=36006&page=11
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Old May 23, 2016   #9
MrSalvage
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cole_Robbie View Post
Trellising is a curse of success. If you weren't good enough at gardening to grow a big plant, this wouldn't be an issue.
This is really funny and I never thought i would say this. I am going to need some holy water! I hope...
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Old May 24, 2016   #10
Horsrfly
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Poor man's windsock or from what I've seen lately they must be attracting tomato pecking mocking birds. I used PVC for the irrigation system that hasn't been used in a while....almost too much rain.
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Old May 24, 2016   #11
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Love the front yard garden.

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Old May 24, 2016   #12
BigVanVader
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I have seen many people use old clotheslines successfully for trellising, just use mobile home anchors or something equivalent to prevent sagging and/or failure like the pic above.
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Old May 28, 2016   #13
FlyingZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horsrfly View Post
I used earth anchors on each end to combat the sagging. Not a tresses but supports for stakes and cages.
<br />
<br />

This is what I do with big beef tomatoes. I used 1/8 aircraft cable. And ratchet straps to tighten it up. Then Hang the plants with special hangers made for it. I prune to single stem.

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