I spent this morning stringing up my 18 tomato plants. I'm doing less this year. One year I planted 55 plants of Romas and still found I needed to go buy four bushels to bottle at the end of it. So if I'm going to have to buy them anyway, I am just scaling back this year and putting in 18 plants of beefsteak tomatoes.
use the wire tomato cages or wooden stakes. I have had the best success
growing them up strings. They are vines, after all. And growing them
vertically up strings allows you to fit them much closer together. My
18 plants, in two rows, take up a space approximately 5' long and 18"
wide. I put up a simple frame above each row (two posts with a cross
bar, nailed and lashed together). I gently tie a loop around the stem
of each plant, which I've allowed to grow a bit first so they're thick
and strong. Keep the loop under a strong-looking branch so it doesn't
slip up the stem. Wrap the string a few times around the plant, working
upwards and giving support to each branch. Then pull it up so there's
no slack and tie it to the cross bar above. Don't get too carried away
pulling tight, or you'll uproot the plant. And ta da! It's done.
Throughout the growing season, wind wayward growth gently around the
string, and nip out side shoots so that you're growing more fruit and
There's nothing so lovely as a fat, fresh
tomato, warm from the sun, sliced and broiled with a little mozzarella
and fresh basil. Don't you just love summer?