Nothing says summer like a ripe, homegrown tomato straight from the garden! Using a Florida weave trellis system to support your tomato plants will ensure strong, healthy plants all season long.
Tomato vines need support to keep them up off of the ground. The Florida weave will extend your growing season and help protect your tomato plants from potential disease.
Some gardeners will use tomato cages to support their plants. But these cages tend to be too small or flimsy to provide proper support throughout the season. This is especially true once plants begin to put on fruit.
Constructing a Florida weave requires very few materials:
- T-posts and a post driver
- strong twine
- a tape measure to achieve proper spacing
T-posts should be spaced at 6-foot intervals down the row with tomato plants spaced at 2 feet apart. This will place three plants between each set of posts.Â
Begin the weave by tying the twine off near the base of the first t-post in the row, approximately 4-6 inches off the ground. Then simply weave the twine between the plants. Crisscrossing as you move down the row.
Be sure to wrap the twine around each post as you go. This will keep the twine taught until you reach the end. Now you can tie off and cut the twine.Â
Head back down the row in the opposite direction with a fresh length of string. Weave back and forth between the plants, this time on the opposite side as before.
Repeat this process every 6 to 8 inches up the post, creating a simple, yet effective trellis to support your plants.
Use this process to create another line of string every week or so throughout the growing season to maintain a secure support for the tomato plants.
Don’t Forget to Prune
It’s also important to consider pruning your plants to improve airflow between leaves, which will help prevent disease. Trim off any leaves that show discoloration or signs of disease as well as those that are in contact with the soil.
Prune off any â€˜suckersâ€™ on the tomato plants. These are small shoots that sprout out from where the main stem and a branch of the plant meet. Suckers draw energy away from the main stem and impact growth and should be removed as they appear.
Consider using a drip line to water your tomatoes. And be sure to mulch your garden well to conserve soil moisture and repress weed growth.
With a little bit of effort to get started and minimal weekly maintenance, a Florida weave trellis system will help you have healthy and happy tomato plants. You’ll enjoy a bountiful harvest of delicious, homegrown tomatoes all summer long!