I see many tips and designs for tomato trellises out there. Some quite fancy, some nothing but string. I am not using any of them. My tomatoes are doing just fine growing wild and free.
WHY I don’t trellis can be credited back to Joseph Lofthouse on permies.com. He is a pioneer in landrace gardening. You can find him here. A few of the quotes that had an impact on me are:
Some people say that landraces arise only by natural means. My response is that landraces are always domesticated, and domestication only happens because farmers select among this year’s crop for the traits that they hope will show up in next year’s crop.
I noticed that plants from my saved seed grew differently… Because my vines tended to arch upwards to keep the tomatoes out of the dirt… Since I don’t stake tomatoes I only save seeds from tomatoes that are not touching the dirt and rotting. So I had inadvertently been selecting for genes that keep the tomatoes suspended in the air without staking.
Now, I’m a lazy farmer. I have a lot going on in my life. Lots to do. So trellising takes valuable time, energy and money. I don’t have any of those resources to spare for something like that. So I planted them and guess what, they’re doing what Joseph’s have done. They are supporting themselves, growing up, vining without support. It is AMAZING to see my tomato bushes. I love how easy it has been. I water every once in awhile but otherwise I’ve done nothing to my tomatoes. I believe we are going to have a bumper harvest this year and I’m a excited to get to eating/freezing and drying these wonderful tomatoes.
I will be saving my own seeds, of course.
Tomato plant in planter box.
Tomato plant in tire of kids sandbox. Lower stems are supporting this main stem in growing fairly upright.
My tomatoes sure are busy this year!