I'm curious about your tomato growing method. I think you planted your tomatoes close together (1 ft) and used your trellis system for support. What have been your experiences with growing indeterminant tomatoes in this fashion? Can you talk a little about pruning specifically for your growing method?
Well Eric, here goes. Yes, I do grow my tomatoes in very close proximity (1 sq ft), and yes I am very big on trellising. Too leave it at that would be making the process too simple though, so let me explain. In the pictures above and below, there are two sections of tomato trellising. The one above is the box that is in the back, the one below is in the box in the middle in case you weren't sure. This is last years trellis that I tried out. I didn't like it, and am modifying my framework trellis system to have a center beam that I can hold tomatoes on for this year, but this illustrates the method just fine.
I do grow the tomatoes in 1 sq foot of garden space, but I have thus far only grown indeterminant plants and they take to this very well. Generally speaking a tomato plant can grow just fine in 6 inches of soil in a square foot but the reason they don't is because if they're not trellised they require greater rooting space for structural support for themselves. With the tomato plant trained to a trellis, the support needs are met and the plant just needs to grow. This reduces the space needs of the roots. For training the tomato to grow up, I use a rebar stake that I notched with a hack saw and tie a string to. I stick it in the ground right next to the root ball and then tie the string up to the top of the overhead beam, whatever that is. As the plant grows, it naturally gets "leggy" at the topmost part. As this get's long enough, I just gently wind it around the string which stays in place. You don't want to weave it too tightly or it will strangle the plant, just let the plant know where the string is and guide it around. Here's a close up of one of my San Marzano plants and you can see the string with the plant wound around it.Now, here's the caviat. This works well for indeterminant tomatoes because they have a natural vineing tendancy. Determinant tomatoes do not. They are more naturally inclined to bush and produce a lot of fruit for one harvest than to continue to crank them out over time. This year we are going to grow a good selectionof these types as well, and I will not be trellising them. At least not like the other ones. I may work out a loose cage type thing or something, but I am not going to worry about them getting tall. It's not in their nature.
As for pruning them, I do make sure to prune them pretty consistantly. This isn't directly related to trellising, at least not in that I need to do it to get them to grow up or anything. The reason I prune is to maximize the yield as well to limit exposure to diseases. The basics are to pinch off all suckers. (These are usually the branch looking stems that crow out from the crotch formed by the leaves and the stem. They rarely set fruit and if they do it is usually inferior. Secondly, I trim off any old or dying leaves or leaves that touch the ground. Many of the blights and pathogens that tomatoes get, come from soil contact. There's a lot of good resources online if you'd like more info.
I hope this at least points you in the right direction Eric.
Good luck to you!