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Up the trellis go fuchsias or cherry tomatoes.

Up the trellis go fuchsias or cherry tomatoes

Wooden pots and small trellises go welltogether, so well in fact that the combination adds up to more than the sum of the parts. Witness the two trellis-pot situations on this page: one used for flowers, the other for vegetables. Each plant shows up better than without a trellis, and neither pot takes up more than 3 square feet of ground space, so one or more can fit in almost anywhere with impressive results.

The flowering container consists of a redwoodpot and a 4-foot trellis, with the lowest part of the trellis nailed to the pot. Filled with a lightweight commercial potting mix (for portability), the container was planted with a gallon-size "Swing-time' fuchsia chosen for its three strong main stems; cutting away competing branches and first-season flower buds channels growth into these three stems.

The fuchsia was set out during May in awestern Washington garden. By the end of the growing season, new growth covered the bottom two-thirds of the trellis. New branches were tied loosely to the trellis with plastic nursery tape; shoots growing perpendicular to the trellis were pinched out.

In November, its owner moved it into agarage for frost protection. The following spring, he brought it back out. By mid-July, it was in full bloom, and its growth had reached the top of the trellis.

The vegetable container was assembled--and the tomatoes in it were trained--in much the same way. Planted in May by a Eugene, Oregon, gardener, it contains two "Sweet 100' cherry tomatoes per pot (the owner wanted to make sure that at least one would make it to fruit-bearing age). Each plant was trained to a main stem and, as it grew, loosely tied against the homemade trellis's cedar laths. By mid-August, all plants were fully bearing.

Photo: Just planted at base of trellis, fuchsia has all butthree main stems removed; tip cuttings are spaced around pot edges. In 14 months (right), main stems reach trellis top, cuttings spill over side

Photo: Planted in Mayand trained like the fuchsia shown above, four "Sweet 100' tomatoes (two per pot) are bearing well three months after planting. Plastic jugs with small holes punched in bottoms allow water to dribble slowly out, keeping roots evenly moist
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Copyright 1987 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:May 1, 1987
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