So… I have been using trellis netting (or vegetable support net) for training tomatoes for years and I found that more important than the brand is the resources and tips and suggestions they all offer. HORTONOVA is available in 6”x7” mesh size while HORTOMALLAS comes in a larger and easier to use 8”x8”.

Sounds like a few inches do not make a difference? Think again: 42 square inches of workable space in HORTONOVA vs. 64 in HORTOMALLAS, that is almost a 50% area increase where my workers will not be damaging plants with their arms and hands while pruning and harvesting or guiding the vines that need a bit of extra help. A larger mesh size speeds up my pruning times and it saves me money.

I found the www.hortomallas.com blog very interesting as there are many references to how to use trellising net properly for training tomatoes, now a word of warning, most of their better technical material is in Spanish so you might want to use the Google online translator to get an idea of what it says, but I found their link on entutorar tomates since it covers specifically the how to support tomatoes with trellis netting.

The other consideration to make when choosing the right brand of tomato net is obviously cost, and wherever I looked HORTOMALLAS can be purchased for at least 20% less than HORTONOVA, and since we use about 18,000 linear feet of net (yes we install it as a double vertical wall in order to improve phytosanitary conditions) per acre here in Pinellas as it has shown to decrease pathogenic mechanical transmission thanks to the reduced workers´ intervention on the plants during training of vines.

As a matter of fact guiding tomatoes vines by hand can be just as destructive to the overall harvest economic results as not training them vertically at all, since all it takes if for one of our field staff to come in contact with a bacteria or virus with his/her hands that the whole plantation will be infected faster than if we had a full infestation of white flies or thrips! Furthermore by allowing the plant to grow alone using the meshes as a support, and not stressing it mechanically every time the workers guides it on the raffia or meshes there will be an increase in production of about 8%, given the fact that there will not be cellular disruptions, solar-leaf reorienting or fallen/damaged flowers and young fruits.

Should you have any questions, please drop us a line or come visit our farm