In this episode, we're sharing how we're using cattle panels (metal fencing) for trellising tomatoes, and explain why trellising helps the plants grow better and make harvesting easier. The best thing about this trellising system, though is the quick and easy way to train the plants up the panels using...bungee cords! We show how to install the panels with some tips on which kinds of posts to get and how to attach them using zip ties. Plus you'll find our favorite ways of preserving tomatoes to enjoy that garden fresh goodness all year long.
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In The Garden
Shown above is a shot from our video on how to plant tomatoes so they thrive where I explain the red plastic mulching system.
After years of trying to trellis tomatoes with those flimsy tomato trellises at the store and with pruning and tying, I've come upon the easiest way yet using cattle panels. They are also called hog panels, livestock panels, stockade panels, or as the person at Tractor Supply told Brian, "handy panels" (though I've never heard of that before...).
Here are links to the trellising supplies we mentioned:
- cattle panel/handy panel (Tractor Supply)
- 6-foot T posts (Tractor Supply)
- black nylon zip ties (Tractor Supply) - but they're cheaper here on Amazon
While the panels have been used by many gardeners, I've since found, I do think the easy way to keep the tomatoes on the trellis I learned from my aunt is the nugget of gold here: bungee cords! No need to mess with ties or twine.
Here are links to the bungee cords shown in the video:
- small bungee cords (to start tomatoes up panel) - these are super cheap
- colorful bungee variety pack
- OR camouflage bungee pack from Harbor Freight (I like them because they blend in.)
In The Kitchen
Preserving Tomatoes is one of the reasons I've always grown 12 to 18 plants.
Here are three recipes using tomatoes that I mentioned - I make sure to have enough containers of these to last us the rest of the year (before moving on to other yummy tomato recipes like these):
Want more? Grab your free copy of The Best Tomato Preserving Recipes here!
Be sure to join us next time where we're talking about reclaiming old wood from the walls of our 100 year old farmhouse. We'll share the types of wood, how we're preparing them, and how we're using what we salvaged!
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