Best string for tomato trellis

I’m going to try the vertical string trellis method for tomatoes for the first time, this season.

I’m trying to skip the trialing process, so asking for your recommendations.

Some feature I would think are desirable:

  1. I would imagine that nylon is more durable than cotton, and can be reused multiple seasons.

  2. And I would imagine that a thicker one would be better as it doesn’t cut into the stem of the tomato plants where disease can then enter.

But I’m not the expert here.

I have been running strings for the past decade or so. Get mason line string. It is strong and it can last you 2-3 seasons before replacement. I just pick the suckers and wind the vine around the string- no fasteners.


Thank you so much! For saving me the headache of trialing strings, and losing money, lol. The type you recommend looks cheap too (around $3 for 225 feet).

I prefer sisal baling twine , it’s cheep , biodegradable,
Saves time in fall clean up as no need to separate twine from dead plants in the fall.


Am I searching for it wrong, or is it
somewhat expensive?

I buy mine at a feed store / farm supply store
15400 ft for ~ $30 last I bought , may be more expensive now.
May be more string than the average person needs . ?
Handy around the farm , bailing twine .

I bought this for a couple dollars at a local thrift store. It reminds me of baling string but also has a plastic feel to it. I have also used a sisal type twine. It definitely decomposes but I still ended up having to cut it out. I’m trying to make sure none gets left in the yard and caught up in equipment.

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Thanks for the suggestion. You can find good stuff sometimes in unusual places. I’m just getting really worn out by this hobby, so this year I stopped “hunting” for tools, bargains, and whatnot. I like to just walk into the store grab what I need and be on my way. I’ve been way happier and less stressed because of it.

I went with the mason string. I’ll report back how that works.

Sisal baling twine is what I use. Do NOT use the 16000 ft per roll baling twine! It is not strong enough. I get either 7000 or 9000 ft per roll which will stand up to a year of heavy use supporting tomatoes. I use the 16000 ft twine as strings for my beans.

Why sisal twine? Because at the end of the season I cut the twine off the posts, pile it up, and burn it. This has the advantage of removing any disease spores from the garden. If you re-use twine from year to year, the twine can become a source of disease innoculum.


Oooh I didn’t think about disease. Good catch! Thanks as always for your tomato expertise/advice.

I used this twine and it survived perfectly fine on my single leader string tomato trellis even through the tropical storm\depression we had in August.

MARSHALLTOWN Masonry Mason’s Line Bonded 500’ Yellow And Black Size 186"

That’s the trellis I’m going for this year. Except I’m using T-posts (easier to install). Everyone reports success about this trellis system. Except I’ll be planting closer than you are here. I’m trying to do 1 plant every feet apart.

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this year i am planting my tomatoes at 15” on center. that gives me 9 in the bed. Each plant is then co planted with a bunch of other plants as well; Basil, Peas, Beans, Borage, Oregano, Carrots etc depending on the bed. Everything bed is loaded with a main crop, secondary crop, companion plant, typically an herb, and some type of Flower. i do this for each bed and it seems to work out.

My Cherry tomatoes are only 4 to a bed, and I let them grow 3-4 leaders, pinch the tips once they reach the top of their support, cattle Panel this year, then let them regrow from a sucker at the base. They also get inter-planted like the others, just with less main plants.

I’ve been enjoying trying to cram as many plants as I can in each bed, making sure they play nice together of course and helping each other out per the usual companion planting guidelines.


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That is bailing twine, it is the only type used up here as the mice live in the bales during the winter months, chew the sisal and then the bales explode when you go to lift them. I use it for trellising simply because I don’t have to then buy string but it does break down and fray so it is not something that would stay on your trellis for more than a few years.

I can’t find the thread where you show or describe how you trellis your tomatoes. If I am remembering correctly, you do not do the “Florida Weave” setup, but something kind of similar? Can you elaborate or direct me to a post where you described and/or uploaded pictures, and also the spacing you use?

I drive 8.5 foot tall t-posts up into the ground about 1.5 feet with a post every 16 feet in the row. Rows must NOT be more than 200 feet long or - as the plants grow - stress builds up on the sisal twine sufficient to break it. I tie a string on each side of the row of tomato plants and put more strings in until they are about 5 feet high. These pictures show the plants with the first 4 strings (2 on each side) run and tied off. They don’t have to be super tight, just tight enough to keep the tomato plants off the ground. You can purchase sisal twin in rolls 7000 feet, 9000 feet, or 16000 feet. Don’t use the 16000 feet rolls, it is not strong enough to hold up a row of tomatoes.


That is so helpful! Thank you! I think that is do-able for me.
What is your vertical spacing between the rows of twine?

about 5 to 6 inches. You may have to put multiple strings at the low levels as the plants grow.

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OK, thank you. Makes sense.
This looks like a more efficient method than cages, stakes, or cattle panels which I have tried in the past.