How to String Up Tomatoes in the Garden

Just call me Hang ‘Em High Hanna.This past weekend, I took my own advice (along with the advice of some other people) and set up a string support for my beloved tomatoes. And since I like to be on the bleeding edge of technology that everyone else is already doing, I put this how-to in video format.


Link to Video

13 thoughts on “How to String Up Tomatoes in the Garden
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  2. Tiffany on

    Wow, call me old fashioned but I still use the wire cages…It’s a great idea tho, thanks for the video I showed it to my family and we might actually try this ‘new’ method next year. Last summer we ended up with huge plants that went way over the cages and this system would definitly eliminate that problem. My only concern is that large plants would be so heavy they might snap the string, or having such a ridgid structure tied around the plants in a wind storm could cause them to break off at the base where the knot is tied.


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  4. Hannah, that was the funniest thing I’ve watched in yrs! Thanks for the laugh! And thanks for a great idea!


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  8. Angie on

    Awesome video – finally some great information I could really use. I’ll be sure to consider this method next year. Thanks for the laughs…


  9. Hanna, I am reading this many months later as a result of a tweet posted by Zanthan Gardens. I just want to say you did an excellent job of narration and pacing, as well as making it funny. Your spousal unit is a good sport, and I’m glad to know we’re not the only DIYers in flagrant violation of OSHA regs.


  10. John Atwood on

    I have been string tomatoes for about 30 years and my system has evolved as follows:

    1. Use 7 ft (above ground) 2 inch galvanized pipes with a 36 inch “T” welded or threaded to the top in order to make 2 rows. The posts are 3 feet deep and set in concrete. My T posts are set 60 feet apart.

    2. Use high tensile wire with turnbuckles to keep the wires taut.

    3. Make 12 to 18 inch hills below the wires as a planting bed.

    4.Use a plant spacing of 30 to 36 inches

    5. Immediately after planting the plants insert 16 inch ground anchors made of high tensile wire (with loop on top for tying the string). The ground anchor prevents strangling the plant as it grows.

    6. Rather than training the plant around the string, I use string clips spaced about 1 foot apart to support the plant.

    7. I prefer to remove ALL suckers and end up with one large trunk with the tomatoes hanging off in tags.

    8. I have a large live oak tree in my yard which sheds its leaves in March (zone 8) and completely cover the bed with leaves. The leaves prevent soil packing, keeps down the grass and makes mulch for the future. Before adding the leaves I lay down a soaker hose for watering when needed.

    9. Every fall and winter I pile and burn my leaves and pine straw on the bed to replenish the trace minerals consumed. every growing season.

    This sounds work intensive but everything can be done in the late winter before it gets too hot.

    I have narrowed my varieties down to Early girls (1st stage) and Better Boys (2nd stage)


    John Atwood Reply:

    I submitted this email on May 24 and wanted to make a few additions: My first planting is always Early Girls because they are a 50 to 55 day tomato variety. Since I started burning my fall winter leaves on the tomato bed, I have experienced no end-rot and use only a very small amount of fertilizer. I also take several foot long suckers and root them in water for 2 weeks prior to planting to keep my tomato crop going well into the fall (first frost).


    Shellie Reply:

    Your idea to grow tomatoes sounds wonderful. Do you have pics?


  11. kc on

    Great post, very entertaining! Im trying this method for the first time this year.
    Happy Growing!


  12. Brent on

    Hey there! I’m trying out your method here in Georgia (zone 7) with some Better boy tomatoes. So far, so good! Although now, the tomatoes have begun reaching the top of the support structure that I’ve built for them.
    From what I understand, topping tomatoes (or any plant for that case) will cause the plant to sprout all over the place, but since I’ve necessarily been training them up one main beam, I don’t know if this is such a wise idea.
    So what do I do at this point? Do I go ahead and top them? Or do I just let them grow and grow and grow??

    Aaaand, here’s some pictures:


  13. Hanna on

    I just let them grow up and over. I do find that they grow much taller with this method than in cages.


    Brent Reply:

    Alright I’ll give that a shot, thanks Hanna!


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