"Preserving the future,
one seed at a time."
Our Newsletter Archive
We are an early signer of the Safe Seed Pledge
All of our rare
and heirloom seeds are public domain, open-pollinated, non-hybrid and chemically
untreated. No chemicals, unstable hybrids, patented or genetically
There are numerous methods,
limited only by personal preference and imagination, for
keeping tomato plants off of the ground. This is a simple, cost
effective solution for creating a large number of baskets. These are
much sturdier than the wire hoop baskets available on the open market and work well for plants with determinate habits.
The materials that you will need are a
roll of heavy gauge, woven wire field fence, a pair of sturdy
pliers, a pair of good gloves, and bolt cutters.
The roll shown here is 330 feet in length and purchased at a building
material supply store for $67.00 in the summer of 2001.
Roll out the wire fencing and using bolt cutters, cut to length.
Here is a stack of pieces that are cut to length.
Use pliers to bend the ends.
Hook the ends together.
Crimp one end.
Then Crimp the other end. Repeat until all ends are connected.
Baskets in place over a row of young plants.
These baskets can be made
in any diameter by varying the length of fence section that you
use. Typically 24 to 30 inch diameter baskets meet most
requirements. The fencing material itself will determine the
height. These are 48 inches tall which is fine for
varieties and in our part of the county, they do fine for most
varieties. As noted below, some additional support is
Update 6/27/11 - We have now been
using these baskets, the very ones we made in 2001, for ten years.
We have certainly gotten our money's worth out of them and they are
not showing any sign of failing. We expect to get another decade
out of them.
I would point out that they are only
subjected to the elements for about one half of the year. We are
disciplined about putting them away in a shed during our
fall garden clean up routine.
An additional comment would be that we
have learned that under very heavy loads, the baskets can collapse or
blow over. As in the photograph to the right, we anchor them by
using t-posts at the ends of the row and then an additional post about
every third basket. We then use binder twine to connect them to
the row of posts.
Along with baskets and posts, due to the
shear number of tomatoes that we grow, we also heavily use the "Florida
Weave" method of trellising plants. It is not that it is
superior in any particular way, but the baskets do take up a
considerable amount of space and require a lot of handling. With
the Florida Weave
method, we only have to store the posts over winter.