I’ve finally found the answer for supporting my tomatoes. It’s an ingenious system known as the Florida Weave. Basically, it’s a system of stakes and twine that utilizes a weave pattern in an around the tomato plants to keep them stable, in place, and able to climb.
It’s better than staking plants, because it allows them movement and accounts for the “sprawling” effect of fuller plants. It’s better than the metal cone supports, because they become too confining for the tomato plant as it grows and the branches and fruit become tangled and pinched. So far, I love it. I used the old twine that I saved from my hale bales through the years (I saved it all because I KNEW it would come in handy one day!) and tied them end-to-end until I reached the desired length.
When I ran out of nylon twine, I went to the store and purchased garden twine made from natural fiber. I won’t do that again. One of the keys to success with this system is pulling and keeping the twine tight from stake-to-stake. I’ve only had this system in place for 10 days and the natural fibers have already stretched on me!
The nylon have not. Lesson learned.
This website shows a nice diagram of the Florida Weave with excellent instructions so I won’t repeat myself here. I simply wanted to bring it to the attention all of you tomato growers out there because this is a need FILLED. And I must say, my tomatoes are developing quite nicely.
These are Brandywine and produced so well for me this past fall, I planted two rows this spring! Mind you, these are my harvested seeds from the fall crop. This is an heirloom variety I purchased from Victory Seeds and is absolutely wonderful, in both taste and growth habit.
So there you have it. If you’re growing tomatoes this season, try this trellis system. It WORKS.
Sugar snaps have to be one of the easiest plants to grow in the vegetable garden. They don’t need a ton of attention, or water, or food. They aren’t prey to many bugs or diseases. Basically, this plant is your all-around go to gal in the garden. And in Florida, this is the perfect time of year to grow them because they tolerate the cooler temperatures very well.
The only thing you have to be wary of with these beauties is their support structure. They need it–and won’t be happy without it. While my tomatoes are content to sprawl across the ground when given the opportunity, my sugar snap peas are not. You can use tee-pee structures like this one, or a trellis system of sorts.
Whichever you choose, be mindful that you might have to guide your darlings onto the support structure if they can’t readily find it. For instance, these tee-pee supports I made worked well–but only for the plants directly surrounding their base. The sprouts in between tee-pees were at a loss for where to go and I ended up with huge plants along the tee-pee towers and scraggly spindly ones in between.
Another thing to remember: they will latch on to anything, including your water mister so be sure to make sure it’s “out” of their way. Other than that, enjoy these lovelies and they will produce gorgeous plump pods for you to devour–straight from the vine or in pea form, alongside those mashed potatoes you love so much.
This week, garden duty was all about vigilance. What’s eating our tomatoes? What smashed our pumpkin? What burrowed beneath our squash?
All good questions, and thankfully, we have Upper Elementary on the lookout. Many of our tomatoes are beginning to turn red and we want nothing to jeopardize their progress. Ruh-roh. Too late. Moms–close your eyes. The ick factor will scare you… More
This week the kids continued bug duty, as their pumpkins are being devoured by the day. It’s a sad sight when the kids clamor to inspect their pumpkins only to find the leaves eaten half off their plant.
Sad. Very sad. So they continued with their dispatch duty and in the process, found this little guy. More