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    Tomato and squash trllising

    Tomato and Squash Trellising

    by The Old Farmer’s Almanac staff

    Here are simple ways to trellis your tomatoes and squashes for a bountiful yet easy-to-manage harvest.

    For Tomatoes: T-Post Twine Trellis

    You Will Need:

    • Two 6- to 10-foot T-posts or other metal fence posts 

    • Heavy steel wire (such as 12.5-gauge)

    • Trellis or “tomato” twine

    • Garden tie tape or circular snap-shut plastic trellis clips

    • Tools (as needed): mallet or hammer, wire cutter, knife or scissors  

    Note: This design works best with indeterminate bush tomato varieties.  

    Pound one post about 2 feet into the ground at one end of your garden row and do the same with the second stake at the other end. Attach steel wire between the tops of the two posts, pulling it taught and securing it by wrapping the ends around the posts. 

    Tie lengths of twine to the steel wire above every tomato plant. The lengths should be long enough to reach the ground. Tape or clip a tomato stem under the “armpits” of a low branch and around the main stem to each vertical length of twine, making sure that the twine is reasonably tight. As the tomato plant develops, attach clips higher up on the twine to support the new growth. If you would like to help the plant along, gently wrap the vine around the twine, always in the same direction.

    For Squashes: A-Frame Trellis

    You Will Need:

    • Two 6-foot T-posts or other metal fence posts

    • Roll of 48-inch cattle or stock fencing

    • Twine or zip ties

    • Tools (as needed): mallet or hammer, wire cutter, knife or scissors 

    Note:This design works best with summer squash varieties.     

    Pound a fence post 2 feet into the ground about every 4 feet along the centerline between where you will plant two rows of squashes (or you can make half of an A-frame for one row). Roll out the fencing and cut two sections the length of the garden row. Lean the fencing sections at a slight angle against the fence posts, putting the bottom of the fencing on the ground about 1 to 2 feet out from the bottom of the posts. Using twine or zip ties, attach the top edge of the fencing to the posts (it will not reach all the way to the fence tops). Plant squashes along the outside of the fence bottoms. As the plants grow, gradually weave the vines in and out of the fencing. 

    Enjoy Your Harvest With This Simple and Fun Recipe!

    Tomato, Basil, and Mozzarella Sandwiches 

    INGREDIENTS

    1 small loaf French bread (or foccacia or other bread)

    6 tablespoons basil pesto (or substitute olive oil)

    6 large ripe tomatoes, sliced

    salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

    1 pound fresh mozzarella, thickly sliced

    fresh basil leaves (about 24)

    INSTRUCTIONS

    Slice the French bread on the diagonal, making at least a dozen slices. (If using foccacia, split in half and slice into wedges.) Coat one side of each slice of bread with pesto or olive oil. Layer on the tomato slices, season with salt and pepper, add the mozzarella slices and fresh basil leaves, and top with a second piece of bread.

    Yield: Makes 6 or more sandwiches.