Learn how to build the Best Tomato Trellis, The Florida Weave. And not only is it the best tomato trellis that I’ve come across, the materials are inexpensive, it’s easy to build, and it’s also an excellent trellis for peppers and eggplants too.
How to Build the Best Tomato Trellis
I have used a lot of different types of supports for my tomatoes. Like the so-called tomato cages (cone shaped cages) which I personally feel should be renamed pepper cages because they do work really well on peppers. And then I’ve tried stakes which turned the garden into more stakes than tomato plants in the end. But I’ve never tried cattle panels or the 6 feet tall, square, tomato cages for one big reason only. The expense! But if I were to only grow a few tomatoes, they would be worth considering. However, when you grow a lot of tomatoes, you need something cheap and easy to build that will give plants the support they need. And that is why The Florida Weave is the BEST Tomato Trellis for me and my garden.
Cattle Panel -vs- The Florida Weave
The garden plots in our front garden, are 30′ x 30′ so let’s use them in this comparison.
- Cattle panels are 16′ long and costs $25.99 to $29.99 in our area.
- T-posts are $4.29 to $5.39
- 1″x2″ pine boards (8′ long) are $2.18 which we will cut in half for the trellis
NOTE: These prices are from the two farm stores where we shop on a regular basis and I will be using the lesser prices in my calculations.
Cattle panels: 30′ row and we will need (2) cattle panels + (5) t-posts per row.
So that comes to $73.43, per row and I have 6 rows of tomatoes with a grand total of $440.58 to trellis my tomatoes. Wowza!
The Florida Weave: we will need (2) t-posts and (5) 1″x2″, 4 foot tall boards plus twine per row.
So that will be (12) t-posts in all (for 6 rows) + (15) 8′-1″x2″ boards (cut into half – 30 pieces) + garden twine ($19.99 for 2100 yards, which will last me forever), which comes to $104.24.
The Difference: $336.34
Wow Wow Wee! That’s a big savings, and one that makes me very, very happy. Plus, the entire cost for the garden twine was added into the costs for The Florida Weave which isn’t completely fair because I only used a fraction of the twine in the build. You can also use butcher twine for the Florida Weave which comes in a much smaller quantity if you prefer. But I just love to buy in bulk whenever I can.
How to Build the Best Tomato Trellis
Step 1: cut boards to size
- Cut the 8′ long 1″x2″ boards in half making 4 foot boards.
Step 2: set up the trellis support
- Place a t-post on each end of the row, lined up with the tomato plants creating a straight line.
Step 3: place supports along the row
- With a rubber mallet, if you have one, hammer in a 4 foot 1″x2″ board until it is secure in the soil. Remember, the more you hammer in the less you will have above ground to trellis on but you want it secure.
NOTE: for spacing, beginning with the t-post, skip two plants and place a 1″x2″ board. Skip two more plants and place another 1″x2″ board and so on until you’ve reached the end of the row. If you end up with an odd number of plants, use your judgement and leave one plant between the last two board/post or three if you choose. The tightness of your line will be the deciding factor and you can go back and add a board if you need to.
Step 4: how to create the weave
- Wrap the garden twine three times around the t-post and securely tie it off.
- Keep the the line tight as you weave from one side of the tomato and around the opposite side of the next tomato plant.
- Once you’ve reached the 1″x2″ board, continue to keep the line tight and wrap it 2 to 3 times around the post. Continue weaving through the tomato plants as you did before.
- You’ve reach the end and it’s time to wrap the garden twine 3 times around the t-post, keeping the line tight as you go and then tie off securely.
- Cut the garden twine and move on to the next row.
Step 5: the completion
Once your plants have grown another 8 to 12 inches, you can add another row of weave. Just follow the steps for the initial row about every 8 inches up your posts. It provides excellent support and the plants are still really easy to care for.
If you are growing indeterminate tomatoes, which means they don’t know when to quit growing, then you may want to top the tomatoes plants once they’ve reached the top of the Florida Weave Trellis and begins to hang over. This has worked great for me because we live in a very hot and humid climate which the tomatoes aren’t real crazy about. When it gets super hot and humid, disease and pests are in full force and the battle just gets to be too much. So I top my indeterminate tomato plants (pinch off the top which keeps them from growing upward any more) which causes all growth, nutrients, and goodness to go outward into the branches, flowers, and eventually the tomatoes.
Find More Tips & Tricks in the Garden and Around the Homestead
- How to Homestead with Only an Acre of Land
- About Us
- How to Love Through the Fear: GROW CORN
- The Beautiful Muscadine
- Quail Cage Build Made Easy
Watch the Video Below and How we Built the Best Tomato Trellis…The Florida Weave.
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Once your trellis is up and supporting your beautiful crop, I’d love it if you would give this post 5 stars and tag us @SimplyMadeHomestead on Instagram with a photo of your Florida Weave.
If you ever have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to ask. I love to hear from you!!