I constructed a two-bar trellis for my tomatoes, and I will never go back.
We all have good intentions about staking up our tomatoes. We get the cages, we get the posts, we have ties at hand. Those tomatoes always -ALWAYS- outgrow whatever support we give them. Yeah, we want to prune. Of course we’ll get around to it. Yeah….
Those flimsy tomato cages are such a trap. The idea is great- they poke right into the ground and hold those tomatoes so they grow up. Until that tomato plant decides it want’s to grow more. Those fruits aren’t lightweight. The cage bends and falls. I even tried flipping that cage upside down thinking the wider top might support the cage better. Uh.. no.
Ok, make some from cattle panel! The panels are heavy duty and a squared off cage is great. But that won’t stop the plant from growing right over the top. And, what about that cute little 4” hole you’re expected to harvest through? And, assuming you have every intention of pruning, are you getting the shears in that hole?
We want to keep those plants off the ground. We want to make pruning easier. We want to make harvesting easier. So, check this out!
This two-bar trellis is, by far, the best way I’ve ever grown my plants! The idea came from a Youtuber I was watching- AsianGarden2Table. She uses this two-bar system for her whole garden. Any vining plant is on this style and really helps save space.
Mine is made of black pipe- precut, 4’ sections. Once it’s all connected, I simply attached it to a couple T-posts and it was done. Yeah, it’s a bit of an investment, maybe $150 for my version. You could easily make this from plastic PVC for cheaper.
Attach a string from the very top horizontal bar. Tie again to the middle bar leaving a bit of slack. Dangle the end of the string at the ground. You’ll tie off the string to the stem of the tomato and wind the sting around the plant. As the plant grows, keep winding it up the string. Want another leader? Add a sting and repeat the process.
The plants are kept vertical, supported by the string. Your plants can receive ample light and airflow. Pruning is easy because you really have nothing getting in your way! Fruits are easy to spot and harvest and you aren’t breaking your back on the ground. Additionally, because your plants are well off the ground, you’ve opened up additional gardening space beneath them! A Square-foot Gardeners dream!