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Old November 29, 2016   #1
mikemansker
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Default Tomato String for Lean and Lower

It seems every year my tomatoes that are supposed to be 4-5 feet go way past that and end up in a tangled mess. For the upcoming season, I want to build a PVC overhead structure and use a string and clips to support the tomatoes and then use the lean and lower method once they reach the maximum height keeping them trimmed to a single stem. I can find a ton of information on the structure and clipping the tomatoes, but nothing on the tensile strength and type of string to use. I know it needs to be small enough for two strands to fit into a clip and strong enough to support a 5 foot plant with tomatoes.

Any guidance here would be appreciated.
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Old November 29, 2016   #2
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http://www.johnnyseeds.com/tools-sup...=en_US&start=1
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Old November 29, 2016   #3
Rajun Gardener
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I'm using the blue baling twine from the local Tractor Supply. 20,500' should last longer than me.
http://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/pro...e?cm_vc=IOPDP1

Last edited by Rajun Gardener; November 29, 2016 at 07:48 PM.
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Old November 29, 2016   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemansker View Post
It seems every year my tomatoes that are supposed to be 4-5 feet go way past that and end up in a tangled mess. For the upcoming season, I want to build a PVC overhead structure and use a string and clips to support the tomatoes and then use the lean and lower method once they reach the maximum height keeping them trimmed to a single stem. I can find a ton of information on the structure and clipping the tomatoes, but nothing on the tensile strength and type of string to use. I know it needs to be small enough for two strands to fit into a clip and strong enough to support a 5 foot plant with tomatoes.

Any guidance here would be appreciated.
check nylon twines. There come in different thickness and are super strong
.
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Old November 29, 2016   #5
Nematode
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Johnnys string along with their clips is pretty good.
That box is a lifesaver no tangles, just pull and cut.

If you are going to lower there are spools you can hang on the trellis wire, but usually the plants are much taller before being lowered.

Around here the season isnt long enough to bother with lowering.
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Old November 29, 2016   #6
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Small note of caution if you buy the rapid tomato clips and are trying to match the diameters to the clip you buy.If you use the small barbs(as hold device instaed of slip)try not to use the larger dia.as it will damage the barb and or the malleable poly hinge.I myself use the Greenlee electricians(stranded poly,can split to use with any clip).The natural twine and sisals ,stretch,and worse yet harbor your fungae,molds,mildews and who knows what else.If you want some neat,made for purpose check these guys out.

http://www.cwestern.com/default.aspx...yDirection=ASC
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Old November 29, 2016   #7
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There are many types you can use, just make sure it doesn't have a tendency to stretch, and some twines degrade rapidly in the sunlight. You can buy spools with good string on them, the string fits clips nicely too.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/3315854...&ul_noapp=true

Last edited by AKmark; November 29, 2016 at 10:04 PM.
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Old November 29, 2016   #8
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Originally Posted by Rajun Gardener View Post
I'm using the blue baling twine from the local Tractor Supply. 20,500' should last longer than me.
http://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/pro...e?cm_vc=IOPDP1

This is the cheapest and all the tomato clips work. I buy the bulk cheap clips on Ebay from China and they last 2 seasons, I get the same 2 years from Growers Supply clips. The twine comes in 2 10k foot spools wrapped in plastic and the string unwraps from the inside so it's easy to use and doesn't unwrap. At $25 for that much twine, it will outlast you. It's the same stuff Kurt posted so even if you use a clip it will work.

If you are thinking about using the clip rollers that come with twine, make sure they don't use a wax coated twine. The heat will make them stick. You can replace them with any other twine if you do go that route.
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Old November 29, 2016   #9
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Here are some cheaper hooks than the roller hooks, they can be used in many applications.
https://www.berryhilldrip.com/TomaHo...-included.html

This vid shows (I think) the best way to grow vertically on a small scale like me. Cheap and effective.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8L_x42RieA
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Old November 29, 2016   #10
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I like that BVV. Nice find! You can't beat the price but it's the slipping on the top rail that worries me. Maybe using rebar will stop it from sliding, something to consider now.
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Old November 30, 2016   #11
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Default Thanks!

There is a ton of great information here! Thanks!
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Old November 30, 2016   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajun Gardener View Post
I like that BVV. Nice find! You can't beat the price but it's the slipping on the top rail that worries me. Maybe using rebar will stop it from sliding, something to consider now.
What are you afraid will slip? The hooks? Typically you would use wire for the Tomahooks, but I have seen people use the metal straps like this https://www.walmart.com/ip/Jones-Ste...&wl13=&veh=sem or even a home made bracket to hang from the greenhouse ribs. Really just depends on the circumstances but they dont slip with weight on them. You'd probably be surprised how heavy the plants can be so whatever you decide to use I would test it with some weights first to see how well it holds and how much sag you get.
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Old November 30, 2016   #13
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I'll use them on 1/2" EMT, I thought it would slide back towards the plant but now I think it should just hang straight down. I have rafters every 18" so if I had to keep it tight to keep fruit up I can use those as an anchor.
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Old November 30, 2016   #14
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http://tytanintl.info/?product=tomato-twine
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Old November 30, 2016   #15
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I go through one of these every year:
http://www.ruralking.com/country-roa...ne-rbt110.html

Synthetic is best for long runs because it won't sag. I think next year I am going to use natural twine for my short pieces to tie up vines, because it biodegrades and makes less of a mess. Synthetic never goes anywhere. Every little piece dropped on the ground stays there for years.
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