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This tomato-training system uses wires from soil to eaves.

Heat reflected from a warm south- or west-facing wall allows tomatoes to grow quickly. To take advantage of that speedy growth, one gardener devised the vertical tomato-training system shown in the photographs above.

To train the tomatoes into a green wall, he uses 10-foot-long pieces of 10-gauge galvanized wire and twists loops in the wire every 8 inches. The top of the wire is nailed to the eave of his house; the bottom is anchored with an 18-inch-long piece of 3/8-inch steel reinforcing bar, bent into a U-shaped and pounded into the soil. Once plants start to grow, they're tied up the wire with pieces of old nylon stocking, which tears easily into soft, strong cord. A layer of black plastic mulch over the ground keeps down weeds and reduces watering chores.

This gardener has found that his system works best with indetermine varieties. An added summer benefit: plants shade the wall, helping to keep the house cool.
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Copyright 1984 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Jul 1, 1984
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