Because I always go overboard with my tomatoes and plant more than I can manage, I have to tie and train a lot of plants. I don’t tie all of my plants though. Varieties like my Romas, I let spread out on the ground with some mulch to rest on. But I do tie the rest and this can result in a lot of ties.
One aim that I have in my garden is to be as self-sufficient as possible and to use the materials around me. Partly because I love the low or even zero cost of this ideal, but also the fact that I am doing a good deed for the planet makes it even more worthwhile. So like with everything in my garden, I started to research what I could use to tie my tomatoes and found that using old t-shirts made of cotton jersey was the way to go for me.
It’s simple really.
- Get an old t-shirt and a pair of scissors and you’re ready.
- Lay the top flat and start cutting strips across the top and across the grain of the fabric. Your strips should be 2-3cm wide.
- Once you have cut your strip and have a loop in tour hand, cut at the seams and then again across the centre of your top (for a woman’s Lrg). You should end up with 15-20cm strips. If your top is bigger you might want to make adjustments.
Maybe instead of scissors, the roller cutter thingies that patch workers use, a cutting board and a ruler can make the job much faster, but maybe ask an experienced person to do this. I imagine it would be harder to tie your tomatoes with fingers missing. lol
- Take a fabric tie and place it around a bare strip of the vine. Consider the strength of that bit of the vine, if and fruit will be ribbed off etc.
- Cross the ends of the tie over each other and then around the steak. You should end up with a figure of 8.
- I like to tie it off with a bow or something that can easily be untied. Don’t worry too much about the tie being too tight, the fabric will stretch. As long as you can fit a finger or two inside either loop of the tie. Should it become too tight, this is where the bow or easily unties knot comes in handy.
- Tie the next one about 10-15cm up the vine.
Yes, there are many ways to tie your tomatoes, and many products and materials. This is what has suited me over the past few years.
I also picked my first tomato yesterday. A Black Russian as well. My fave.
I would love to hear what you use and how you tie your tommies.