My tomato spirals are holding up very well! They get a bit skinny at the top, so you can’t pull the entire vine through. I’ve tied a few heavy branches to the stakes, but for the most part they are excellent trellises. I think they may work better for peas and beans than tomatoes – but I am definitely going to use them next year with tomatoes again. The spirals (and the stakes) store flat, which is a good enough reason alone to prefer these over the metal cages.
The photo above is an “Italian Heirloom” variety (see our Tomato Varieties page for varieties we have grown, and are growing this year). I got this plant from Gordon’s Greenhouse – we’ve never grown it before, so I don’t know what color tomatoes to expect! They are large though – quite a bit larger than the palm of my hand. The vine is surrounded by thai basil.
We’ve had high temperatures above 85ºF for the last 20 or so days, with weeks at a time of high temperatures in the 90s, and lows barely dipping into the 70s. The tomato vines are loaded with big, green tomatoes – but so far we’ve only had a couple of small, red cherry tomatoes.
The Perdue Extension website mentions that optimum temperature range for tomatoes to ripen is 68-77ºF. Additionally, tomatoes don’t produce lycopene and carotene (i.e. color) in temperatures above 85ºF. So with lows barely dipping into optimum range, and long hot streaks in the 90s, I think it’s going to be a while before we see some color on the vines. The forecast suggests 90s for the next week, so those veg-BLTs are still a distant hope.