Normally, we use t-post and twine to string up our tomatoes as they grow, but this year Ben wanted to try something different, so he used hog fencing that would create an arbor over our garden beds. Buying it new would have been costly, but thankfully we live near a lot of farms, so he was able to find some on craigslist locally. They even delivered it to our house!
We used 16′ x 3′ hog fencing and 3′ concrete stakes (4 per arch). The hog wire was kind of bent in odd spots when they first arrived, so we used the garden beds as a wedge to fix the shape of them (see the picture above where the arches are not lined up yet and look staggered). Then, we centered the short edge of each fencing down the middle of each bed, and used 2 stakes on each side to secure it into the soil. We were able to put 3 arches into each garden bed (our garden beds are 9′ long). It definitely takes two people to get the fencing in; I held the fence in place and was singing the “John Henry” song as Ben hammered in the stakes.
We love the effect the arbor gives and as our tomatoes continue growing, it’s just looking prettier and prettier. The girls also have a lot of fun running underneath it. I love it so much that I just want to keep it up after our summer garden, but Ben’s not sure how well it would work with our winter garden, since he likes to cover it up. We’ll see, maybe we can figure a way to utilize the frame for a makeshift greenhouse, but for now, we will keep enjoying our tomato arbor.