Friday, 28 June 2013 20:57

Backyard Gardener Part 8: Building the Tomato Trellis & Pruning

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BANGOR - When it comes to gardening, stretching out your plants can mean increasing the yield of fruits and vegetables. Our Erin Thomas has the latest in "Backyard Gardener."

Now that we're seeing major growth in the garden, it's time to show our plants where to go. Kate Garland from the University of Maine Cooperative Extension showed us a do-it-yourself way to stake out the tomatoes.

Building a trellis on a budget, with wood we found around the news station and some hemlock boards from Kate. We used a hand saw to cut the brace boards, and a power saw to cut the outlines of the trellis. And then screwed the pieces together.

Laying a board across the top and letting string hang down to the plants.  At the bottom of the string Kate showed us how to attach a tomato trellis clip, which will allow the plant to climb the string without damaging the stem.

And while we're at, Kate showed us how to prune the tomatoes. She said to leave the sucker closest to the plant's flower bud, to give the plant a second stem, but everything below that sucker, and above the flower should be trimmed off.

Kate says the size the tomatoes are now makes for the best time to start pruning, following up weekly to pinch of any new suckers.

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