Growing Tomatoes Our Way
We have an innovative system in place to grow our 430 tomato plants in our 30 x 96 high tunnel. When we were awarded the EQIP grant through Butler County Conservation District, the directives were to grow in the ground for 5 years with no structures attached to the tunnel. This means nothing hanging from the trusses and no container gardening inside.
Don got creative and designed and built a frame work to support the wire used to move our tomahooks. A tomahook is a heavy-duty stainless steel hook that hangs on a high wire to support plants and release about 7" of twine each time it is turned over. The Tomahooks can hold up to 79 lbs and will allow our plants to grow up in a single leader on the twine. As the plant grows it allows us to lower and lean the hooks for heavier producing vine-crop varieties. Tomahooks attach to the plants with clear vine clips. The back of the clip goes on the twine then around the stem of the plant. Clips hold the twine tightly and won’t let them slip. We use them on any heavy plants like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and cucumbers.
Here are the clear vine hooks that attach the Tomahooks to each leader stem.
Here's our Tomahook system in action with our over 430 tomato plants.