Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Simple tomato training solution.,

Last evening I reviewed the section of my greenhouse growing book that dealt with training tomato vines. The book advised against using the greenhouse frame to support the plants, as the weight of the plants and fruit would most likely bend the frame.
Damn, that is exactly what I was planning, so now I had to improvise Plan B, and quickly!

Plan B involved constructing a frame to support the plants from above. The solution was to use 2" x 3" studs with the top cut at a 55 degree angle to match the slope of the roof. It was a simple matter to anchor the studs to the channels so that they do not move. Drilling the studs and inserting 5/8" oak dowels to span the studs provides overhead support for the plants, and the addition of the dowels strengthens the entire assembly. Now, the force will be directed straight down, with little or no stress on the frame. This solution was simple and economical as the cost was less than ten dollars.

Another nice feature is that it is not a permanent addition, and it can be removed and reinstalled as required. Additionally, it passed the wife test; as the said: "it looks nice."

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