Tomato Raffia has become obsolete after the introduction of trellis netting
So, lets take a pause and have e moment of reflection: as horticulturists we are always striving to save on costs and increase yields but we sill use tomato raffia when it comes to training vegetable plants in a greenhouse or in the open field? Don´t we realize that in order to tutor on a string we are spending a lot more money in labor and causing our crops to be attacked by pathogens more? If tomato growing is supposed to be a profitable business, (granted, some market fluctuations can make us millionaires overnight) how can we be spending money on a throw away a waste product that just costed us money to install, increases the risk of mechanical contagion and decreases yields due to the mechanical stress to the plant… definitely using support raffia is a paradigm, as we spend unwisely.
On the other hand vegetable trellising net has the immediate advantage of being less labor intensive for its installation and handling, as only two workers can install a hectare (2.2 acres) in a day as compared to the six that are required with tomato raffia. The other plus of plant support netting like HORTOMALLAS is the fact that during the training and tutoring of the plant we need to handle and touch each plant when using tomato raffia, this increases the risk if transmitting diseases like viruses (TMV for example) from one plant to the next as the workers go down the furrows. This means that no matter how much money we spend on nurseries and planting and irrigation … we will be our own demise!
The hand vegetable trellising net has the immediate advantage of being less labor intensive for its installation and handling.
Finally the most untalked about factor is mechanical stress that we are responsible for during the handling of our crops. Plants do arrange their leaves naturally and efficiently towards the sun, by moving the plant around and changing the natural and optimized positioning of their leaves we are causing great stress (not even counting damage to the plant and leaves during tutoring with tomato raffia). Plats will use 3 to 4 days to rearrange their leaves´orientation and this type of damage has been calculated to cost the grower between 8 and 10% of lost production. So think again before you follow the past… tomato raffia will cost you more than tomato net.
follow the alternative to agricultural raffia here