About the Tormato!


What. Is. TORMATO?!?!

Wednesday, 27 May 2009 07:31 Laura Crichton

What the heck is that thing? Some mad science experiment gone awry? Yard Art? The redheaded stepchild of Dr. Seuss?

It's the Tormato!! And it's going to make your tomato growing experience a lot easier, and quite a bit more interesting.

It's cheap, easy, and fun to make!

It is made of 1 1/4 inch PVC, and 1/2 inch PEX tubing.

It's primary use is to replace those wretched tomato cages, but it can be used as a trellis system, and a nutrient delivery system!



Tormato With Trellis and Nutrient Delivery System

Here is a feeding tube coming from the irrigation system through the PVC and feeding the roots of the plant. If an irrigation system is not in place, simply drill some smallish holes in the stake end of the Tormato, and a hole to insert the hose or watering can of choice into and feed right down to the roots of the plant. Just like they like it!

The Tormato is also functioning as a trellis here. This tormato has the optional trellis cap. A string is dropped down from there, and the tomato is gently twisted around the string as it grows.

I hope you'll look around and decide to try one… Or a dozen!

I came up with this crazy idea during my massive spring fever this year, and this is the trial year for the Tormato! I had initially wanted to make a freestanding version out of conduit, but was not having much success with my pipe bending skills. Then one day, it hit me. PEX!! and PVC!! Both are fairly cheap (10 ft of 1 1/4 inch PVC is about $2.00, 20 feet of 1/2 inch Pex is about $6.00)

I'm expecting good results (i.e less time spent tying up my plants in the garden) and will be documenting my experience with my Tormatos here. I'm looking for others who may want to try this system and have other modifications.

4 thoughts on “About the Tormato!

    1. Hi Jeff,

      I use 8 ft PVC, and cut it down to around 7 to 7.5 feet.  The holes (for pex) can be anywhere from 8-12 inches, the farther apart, the more tension is created on the spiral.

      More info on the “Considerations” page on this.


      Thanks for your interest in the Tormato!  Happy growing.  🙂

    1. Hi Maxine,

      My method of getting it in the ground is to grab it by the pex (close to the PVC) and spin it around like an auger–due to the slanted end, it’ll drive right in. If This doesn’t work for your soil, dig a hole tamp it down well when finished. 

      Pro Tip: Clear the bottom of the PVC out after each season–use a hose if necessary– and they’ll be easier to drive into the ground.

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