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Gardener shows how she grew an incredibly successful tomato plant with help from a trellis: ‘Keep the vines picked’

“By 75 and 90 days in, the vines are going wild.”

Tomato trellis

A viral TikTok is showing the internet how to get the most fruit from a tomato plant by growing them on an arched trellis.

The tutorial comes from TikToker Nicole Johnsey Burke (@gardenary), a content creator looking to make gardening a regular part of life. 

If you want to get the most out of your tomato plant, these tips can help maximize your yield.

@gardenary Grow tomatoes with me! #tomatoes #trellis #gardening #kitchengardenrevival #foryoupage #fyp #sustainability #ecofriendly #FORDfortheBuilders #imadeit #tiktokpartner #learnontiktok #organic #gardenary #hpsustainablesounds ♬ Blue Blood – Heinz Kiessling & Various Artists

The scoop

Step one of @gardenary’s 150-day tomato growing period is to start growing pea plants at each end of the arch. You read that right, pea plants first. The pea plants help the tomato plants in the early stages. Then, you plant tomatoes right after the peas.

Once the pea plants finish producing, step two involves removing the pea plants entirely and attaching the further-grown tomato plants to the arched trellis. By the 60th day, the tomato plants from each end of the arch will meet in the middle.

In step three, the tomato plants get pruned a few weeks after the plants’ middle meeting. Once the non-producing vines get eliminated, the tomatoes start coming in, and the exciting part begins. 

The video moves toward the last step with a bounty of tomatoes in sight and the voiceover saying, “The most important job is to keep the vines picked. By 75 and 90 days in, the vines are going wild, so I keep pruning away the leaves to make sure I get more fruit before the season ends.” 

By day 120, the vines finish producing and are ready to come off the arched trellis for the end of the season.

How it’s helping

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, 31% of fresh tomatoes bought by U.S. households are thrown out, which equates to over $2.3 billion a year. That’s roughly 21 tomatoes per person — which is a lot of tomatoes and money wasted.

With this gardening tutorial, consumers have a simplified step-by-step for growing many tomatoes that meet or even exceed their consumption needs at a fraction of the cost. 

Using these tips can help households save money and keep food local, lowering the impact that transporting food has on the environment. Plus, giving away any surplus of harvested tomatoes doesn’t just eliminate food waste — it also promotes a more connected and eco-conscious community.

What everyone’s saying

Many in the comments shared their input and curiosity about the tutorial, with one Tiktok user writing, “Is there a reason that you do peas at the beginning and then get rid of the plants? 🍅” In a brief explanation, the post’s creator replies, “To have something to harvest in the spring and it also fixes nitrogen in the garden which helps the tomatoes get started.”

Another person adds, “For those that don’t know what Vine tomatoes are. They are indeterminate 😁 the label should say that or determinate for an expected height.” 

Many others support that comment, as the indeterminate tomatoes are the variety that continues growing and producing all season long.

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