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Old April 12, 2009   #1
dcarch
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Default Another support idea.

There is a thread in "Growing For Market " forum About supporting hundreds of plants:
http://www.tomatoville.com/showthread.php?t=10907

Since this idea may also work for non-market growers, I am posting it here.

I have not tried this because I have a different growing condition with my own unique support system.

There are many systems to support lots of plants, each with its advantages and problems.

Here is an idea for you guys to try out.



Using netting or wire mesh stretched at an angle, the weight of the plants will naturaly lean on the mesh, so there will not be a need to tie branches back.

Depending on what you are growing, most of the fruits may hang below the mesh for easy picking.

This will give better sun exposure and may also be better for spraying.

Just an idea to solve a problem with a different angle.

dcarch
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Old April 12, 2009   #2
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dcarch, the creative juices are still flowing I see. Cucumbers and beans come to mind also with this type of setup. BTW, I like your hat.Ami
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Old April 12, 2009   #3
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D, with the weight of 5 full grown tomato plants plus the fruit; those wouldn't stand a chance. They would just blow over like a pile of dominoes here.

~* Robin
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Old April 13, 2009   #4
dcarch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polar_Lace View Post
D, with the weight of 5 full grown tomato plants plus the fruit; those wouldn't stand a chance. They would just blow over like a pile of dominoes here.

~* Robin
Actually, there are many practical structural ways to support this angled concept so that will not happen.

The suspension system that I use is 30 feet long and ten-foot tall. I have been using the same system for about four years now and it had taken many wind stroms with no damage yet.

dcarch
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Old April 13, 2009   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amideutch View Post
------------. BTW, I like your hat.Ami
Hey, it's Easter

dcarch
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Old April 13, 2009   #6
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I'm going to price vinyl mesh in my area. I may actually have ideal conditions to test this. It would possibly be much cheaper than buying 20+ tomato cages and much easier to manage also. Plus, I would have an easier time anchoring the containers they're in. The weight would be on the mesh and not the container!

I have to grow in a 4' wide alley between a house and a 6' high fence. It's south-facing at least, and last year worked well, except for staking. I could raise the containers, move them to the lee of the fence when the plants are tall enough to still get sun, and run the mesh between bamboo supports on an angle. Possibly could run shade cloth over as well.

The side benefit is that the shaded area underneath *could* cool everything enough to grow lettuce - and in the summers here, that's good!!!

I'll keep you posted.
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Old April 13, 2009   #7
dice
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Making a gill net:

http://www.aircav.com/survival/asch08/asch08p11.html

One could make a rectangular structure on the sides of the
garden area, shaped like soccer goal posts, anchor it upright
with a cable guy wire and bag of concrete with an eyebolt in it
at the corners, or use those screw-in type pet anchors to anchor
the guy wires, and then run the top suspension lines for the
mesh between the horizontal top poles of the rectangles.

The challenge would be anchoring the bottoms of the mesh
to get that goat fence angle that dcarch showed. Screw-in
anchors would work for that, too, but then you would need
a pair for each row. Maybe a heavy 4x6 post or old railroad
tie at ground level with a series of eyebolts in it for anchoring
lines across the bottoms of the mesh would be cheaper.

They do not need to come all the way to the ground, either.
(The plant is not going to need support until it gets more than
a foot tall.)

One does need a cheap source of lots of parachute chord or
something similarly sized that is pliable enough to tie the
pictured knots with. If you mis-estimate how long your verticals
are, it is easy to just tie on another piece and keep going.

(Vinyl mesh or polyester mesh may be a lot cheaper and not
require the work. Just attach it to the horizontal top and bottom
lines with electrical wire ties or whatever.)

The mesh does not have to be the size that one would see in
a commercial gill net, of course. One could make the spacing
between verticals at the top wider, for example, maybe 8-12
inches.
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Old April 13, 2009   #8
dcarch
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For my other support system, I used Double Braided 2.2 mm nylon cords which I got from eBay. $25 for 3,000 feet SH included.

dcarch
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Old April 13, 2009   #9
dice
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Here is a leaning trellis system:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/avllesarah/2118108107/

The mesh is supported on horizontal wires that run between
the posts, and pairs of posts are attached at the top with
bailing wire.
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Old April 13, 2009   #10
dcarch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dice View Post
Here is a leaning trellis system:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/avllesarah/2118108107/

The mesh is supported on horizontal wires that run between
the posts, and pairs of posts are attached at the top with
bailing wire.
Conceptually, my idea is very different than the one shown in you link.

The idea is to have the tomato plant lean on the angled mesh trellis as they grow, and therefore elliminating the need to tie the branches back. the idea is also to have a system which will allow very tall indeterminate varieties.

dcarch
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Old April 14, 2009   #11
dice
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Quote:
The idea is to have the tomato plant lean on the angled mesh trellis as they grow, and therefore elliminating the need to tie the branches back. the idea is also to have a system which will allow very tall indeterminate varieties.
Sure. They are probably growing rows of determinates with
that system. I just thought the construction details might
be interesting. One could put two rows of indeterminates
on the outside of the mesh and let them grow leaning toward
each other, with the plants growing on top of the mesh. One
would need longer poles than those used in the illustration
above.

It reminds me of bamboo supports that I saw in a AVRDC
document. In those the tops of the vertical poles supported
horizontal bamboo poles along the top, and they simply leaned
vertical bamboo poles for each plant along the rows on either
side against the top support, fastened them in place there with
a piece of string, and tied the plants to the leaning poles as
they grew.

(The angle at which the plants grew in that bamboo system was
similar to your original idea with the leaning panels.)

If poles or panels that lean together are too short, one might
need a very short person to walk down between the rows and
harvest. (Perhaps a Tomato Picking Merit Badge could be
invented for this.)
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