Thursday, April 9, 2015

DIY Tomato Trellis

Every year I redesign my tomato trellises in an attempt to create better ones. This latest version is made of 8 ft metal garden stakes, 1 x 2 inch pine furring strips and 20 gauge wire. I bought 10 ft furring strips, so the trellis is 10 ft long. It uses 4 furring strips and 6 metal stakes. The wire is strung vertically so the tomato vines can be trained to twine around the wire as the vines grow. 

The metal stakes were placed 10 inches apart which will allow air to circulate between the vines to control mildew. The plants will be planted in the middle and trained to grow up the vertical wires.

My husband pounded the stakes while I used the level to be sure they were straight. We also used the level to make the tops of the stakes the same height so the trellis looks even and level. The furring strips are not perfectly straight but these were the straightest ones at the store, and since they were only around a dollar each, they are fine.

These are common metal garden stakes and they have raised ridges that the 1 x 2 inch furring strips fit between perfectly. I used the wire to tightly tie the furring strip to the stakes. 

Then I strung the wire from the top furring strip to the bottom one. The wires are spaced 6 inches apart.
This is a simple design which is much less complicated than my first tomato trellis which is made of wood and twine. Read how I made the wooden trellis here.
Tomato trellis, photo from March 2014
It is still standing and will support cucumbers and tomatoes this year. I am hoping this new trellis will work better because there are more vertical wires and having two rows of them will control the vines better than only one row of wires. At least that's what I'm hoping. I am also vowing to do a better job of pruning the tomatoes this year.  

The small tomato transplants look tiny down there, but hopefully the vines will be happy climbing up their new trellis.
Time to harvest those carrots to make room for more tomatoes...
Bessie May loves carrots.
** For an updated, improved version of this trellis, click here

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