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Old June 26, 2007   #1
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: N. Rhode Island
Posts: 37
Default EBs, Fla Weave, and the Suspension Bridge (Pics)

My system is working beautifully, and I thought I would post some pics in case anyone needs some support ideas. I am also thrilled with the DIY earthboxes. Each of the plants are huge, healthy, and producing. I couldn't be happier so far.

I started by building three ladders out of 2x2s over the winter. They are set in large coffee cans filled with quikcrete. Here they are as I was getting started:

Here they are about 3 weeks after planting out: (also a few peppers in front of the EBs)

So then they needed support, and I ran steel wire up one side, across the top, and down the other side. The ends of the wire are hooked on angled rebar. The physics of suspension bridges are at work here (sort of). I also put wire clamps and eye bolts at the tops of each ladder, so the ladders can't slide under the wire.

Then came the Fla weaving, and this is way easier than it looks. It is just figure eights between the plants and the rungs of the ladder, and tied at each end. (I started with heavy gauge twine, but decided it was overkill. The second row weave is a much thinner sisal twine.)

I also made some ladders for my blacktail watermelons (I am hoping I can get them to climb and tie them up as they go. They are there behind the blueberry shrubs, but only about 6 inches tall so far:

My only concern is that the tomato ladders really aren't tall enough, (they are 6 1/2 feet up from the ground, but since the base of the plants start higher in the EBs, they really should be higher.) But I'll just let them do a U-turn and grow back down, I guess, or just hack them off at the top when that day comes. The biggest one in the pic is black cherry, and it is going to take over the neighborhood soon.

So far, so good. There are more pics of my garden at the link below, in case you are interested.

I am going to post this on a few other tomato discussion groups, so if you visit the other places, I hope you don't think I am bragging. I just thought it might give some people some ideas.

Other pics...
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Old June 26, 2007   #2
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Kansas
Posts: 115

I grow almost exclusively in 4, 5, and 6 gallon buckets. Support is one of my biggest problems I think your system would work well with buckets. I might give it a try next year. This year I'm simply using bamboo stakes. It is okay right now, but as my plants get loaded up, I'm going to have problems.

BTW, your yard looks nice, including the ladders for the melons. I have been trying to find 1x1 lumber to make my own trellis for cukes, but none of the lumber yards carry it.
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Old June 27, 2007   #3
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: N. Rhode Island
Posts: 37

I think the 1x1s are on the aisle with the molding and trim at Lowes/HD. I used 1x2s for the melons, and 2x2s for the tomatos.

Definitely try the ladder/weave system next year. It actually creates a giant cage, but looks nicer than those awful wire cage setups.
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