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General discussion regarding the techniques and methods used to successfully grow tomato plants in containers.

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Old July 2, 2019   #1
habitat_gardener
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Default tomato/trellis clips

First, a question: are all trellis/tomato clips the same (I've seen wildly different prices online), and is there a recommended place to get them?

So I went to Brad Gates's talk on tomatoes last year at the heirloom festival. He showed photos of container tomatoes he was growing at his house: big pots with four tomatoes each. I decided to try that.

This is my experiment: I have a big south-facing window that could use some shade, so my 7 big pots (15g) are lined up outside that window. I have short tomato cages in the pots and will be running twine from the cages up to screw eyes in the overhang. I will prune to 1-2 stems and then attach the vines to the twine with tomato clips.

I'm growing mostly cherry tomatoes in these pots, 15 varieties.
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Old July 2, 2019   #2
biscuitridge
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I always buy the jumbo size, my stems get way to big for the regular sized ones,even with the jumbo I have to remove them from the lower portion of the plant, they'll hinder growth if I don't, some stems get to be 2-1/4" in diameter.
I use the clips on everything. You're going to need to let more than 2 leaders grow or you'll severely limit the production with cherry type tomatoes.
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Old July 2, 2019   #3
jtjmartin
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Prices vary a lot. I travel by Berry Hill Irrigation in VA a couple times a year. I found the 23mm (about an inch) clips for about a penny apiece if you buy them in balk.

If you have any irrigation or greenhouse supply places nearby its worth a look.

Many of my vines grow well over 20 feet long - I rarely have trouble with these clips.

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Old July 2, 2019   #4
biscuitridge
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Old July 2, 2019   #5
tryno12
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I bought some black ones 3 yrs ago that are still good. I bought some clear ones 2 yrs ago and they are hard to use and break easier.
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Old July 2, 2019   #6
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The clear ones will last about 1 year despite the fact that they tell you can use them year after year. They were convenient and easy to use but removing them at the end of the season is a real pain and most broke. Mine came from the Seedman - never again.
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Old July 3, 2019   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biscuitridge View Post
...You're going to need to let more than 2 leaders grow or you'll severely limit the production with cherry type tomatoes.
Uh oh. I just pruned the side shoots today.
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Old July 3, 2019   #8
biscuitridge
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That's ok! Just let the next ones go.
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Old July 3, 2019   #9
Nematode
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Per plant productivity may be affected by pruning method, but single stem pruning yield per area can be very high.
Depends on plant density. Single stem spacing typically 12-18" double row with 4' row spacing.
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Old July 3, 2019   #10
jtjmartin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nematode View Post
Per plant productivity may be affected by pruning method, but single stem pruning yield per area can be very high.
Depends on plant density. Single stem spacing typically 12-18" double row with 4' row spacing.
Agree. Many factors influence productivity in addition to pruning method. Single stem - properly done - can give the highest yield. Done incorrectly it can give a horrible yield. The number of stems is just one factor out of many.

The same can be said for any other pruning or no prune method.

I grow mainly single stem lean and lower 18" spacing, but if my daughter, dog or disease take out a neighboring plant I'll let another stem grow to fill in the space. With our hot, humid, sunny weather with moderate disease and pest pressures this works good.
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Old July 3, 2019   #11
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Get the biggest and strongest you can find.
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Old July 3, 2019   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patihum View Post
The clear ones will last about 1 year despite the fact that they tell you can use them year after year. They were convenient and easy to use but removing them at the end of the season is a real pain and most broke. Mine came from the Seedman - never again.
I agree. The clear ones were so difficult to unsnap that I gave up. I've had good luck with the brown ones though.
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Old July 6, 2019   #13
habitat_gardener
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Thanks for the tips on pruning and avoiding the clear clips!

I see that Fedco has biodegradable clips made from cornstarch. Has anyone used those?
https://www.fedcoseeds.com/ogs/biode...ato-clips-8886
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Old August 9, 2019   #14
Greatgardens
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I really like this type of spring clips.

https://smile.amazon.com/Hongville-2...ateway&sr=8-96

If you shop around, you can get them for ~$.20 each. This is the 4th season for some of mine. They are FAST to put on and take off. They seldom break, but occasionally you do have to reshape the wire.

The only issue that I have is that the merchants want to sell you Large + Small Clips. The small ones are worthless for tomato plants, so you have to look a little harder to find just the large ones at a good price. Sometimes I've found it cheaper to buy the Large + Small and just dispose of the small ones. I probably have 100 of the large ones now, and maybe lose 2 or 3 per season.
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Old August 10, 2019   #15
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I ended up getting the ones from High Mowing Seeds. https://www.highmowingseeds.com/trellis-clips.html
No shipping fee for orders over $10, so I added a $3 packet of seeds (to avoid the $3 shipping fee).
They’re working well so far, and are easy to reposition.
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