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How to string grow tomatoes in a greenhouse

One popular method of growing tomatoes in a greenhouse has them growing up a string suspended from the roof, but how do you do this? Let’s jump in and have a look.

how to string tomatoes in greenhouse
how to string grow tomatoes in a greenhouse

How to grow tomatoes up a string

Growing tomatoes up a string is not a new idea but it is one that is seemingly growing in popularity. If you want to find out how exactly to do it then you have come to the right place. I have just set up some new raised beds in my greenhouse and included some strings for my tomatoes to grow up, let me show you how I did it.

Step 1 – Into the soil or not?

The first decision you will need to make is are you running your string into the soil and below the surface or not? If you are creating a new bed like me then this is easily done and I would highly advise you do as this adds a lot of tension and strength to the string.

If you don’t want to have to dig your bed up in order to do this then you can just leave the string loose and dangling from the ceiling. My guide though will show you how to bury the string into your soil for maximum support.

my string goes into and under the soil
my string goes into and under the soil

Step 2 – Under the soil support

How do you get your string to stay under the soil and stay taut? Well, this is what I did.

I screwed one of the below hooks into a small piece of flat timber. I then placed this at the bottom of my raised bed under all of the soil

Eye hook
Eye hook

I attached the string to the hook and left it just hanging over the side of the raised bed before adding any soil.

It is important to get these into the position you want before adding soil. As soon as you start piling some soil on top they get very tough to move.

Strings attached to wooden planks
Strings attached to wooden planks

Step 3 – Attach to ceiling

Now you just need to figure out a way of attaching the string to the ceiling of your greenhouse. Now this will obviously depend on the design of your greenhouse and I can only show you how I did it. It may be that you have something you can simply tie your string to which would make this really simple.

I did not have anything to tie my string to so had to make something. I used an old piece of guttering I found on my allotment, reduce, reuse, recycle and all that.

I spanned this across the top of my greenhouse before screwing some of the same hooks into it and fastening the string on.

Fastening to the ceiling
Fastening to the ceiling

Step 4 – Plant your tomatoes

Now you need to fill or refill your beds or whatever growing setup you have. Once done you can plant your tomatoes next to the string.

Plant your tomatoes
Plant your tomatoes

Step 5 – Tieing your tomatoes in

Now you need to tie your tomatoes into the string as they grow. You should twist the tomatoes around the plant as they grow and tie them in for extra support.

You can use metal plant ties, clips, twine or anything you have really to attach the plants to the string. The key is getting it just right, not too tight as this can damage the plant and not too loose so that it doesn’t actually support the plant.

As your tomato plant grows its base will get wider and wider so it is advisable to remove your ties at the bottom when the plant is a bit bigger. this will just make sure the y are not restricting the growth of your plant.