This year I'm weaving my tomatoes (basket, not Florida, except for the plants that got away from me and are far too unruly to basket, they're Florida-ed). I'm doing this instead of giving each plant its own stake. I would have run out of stakes pretty fast. I planted, for some reason as yet unknown to me, 47 tomato plants in my four raised beds. Yes, other things, too, but 47 tomato plants. 47 taller-by-the-minute plants requiring support. I had no intention of going out to buy 47 anythings to trellis these babies. So, I am making do with the stakes I had from meager gardens past and, because on this farm it is everywhere you look until you need it, I'm doing the weaving bit with baling twine.
I think you're supposed to have two or at the maximum three plants between stakes. Hmm. In my quest to be thrifty I have six plants between stakes in some spots, four in others. And my spacing is too tight, I know this already. But these plants of mine are covered in flowers and clusters and ripening fruits as I write, so I'm wondering where all these rules came from in the first place. Anyhow, I have three stakes per row in my raised beds, one for each end and one in the middle (we're only talking about eight foot long beds, mind you). The end posts are anchored to the end boards with nails and, yes, more baling twine. So I tie a piece of twine to the end post, weave around the plants, wrap it a few times around the middle post pulling the tension quite tight in the process, carry on to the other end's post, wrap a few times and then weave back to the middle post from there, alternating the weave from the first weave so each plant is well and truly snugged in with twine. Back to the end, tie off the twine; admire the neatly trellised tomatoes.
The pros use purpose-made center-pull balls of twine for this task that comes in neat little hip-carried boxes. I said pooh-pooh with all that, I'll just string my twine along behind me as I go. All well enough until said twine tangles hopelessly in the many leaves and branches already sprouting off my tomato plants in all directions. But I will not be made to buy tomato-twine-in-a-box. Oh no, not I.
Chick-Chick says, "Just buy the darn twine, will ya? I'm sick of looking at this mess." Indeed, Chick-Chick. Indeed, I will not. I will gather up this twine, and I will tame it. By gosh and by golly, I will tame this twine. I will make my own tomato-twine-in-a-box.
Out to the picnic table comes the swift.
And the winder.
And the assistant, too.
All go for Project Twine Ball!
Take that, Chick-Chick.
Works like a charm.