Stake Those Tomatoes

They’re heavy and need the support.  One look at Julie’s prize reds and it’s easy to understand why they must be staked.  There are so many!  (Yay, Julie!)

 

You can also use a trellis for support and attaching the vines with soft green tape (this avoids injury which can be an invitation to disease/bacteria).  I’ve gone with a modified version for my tomatoes, running a type of garden wire through posts, accentuating the support system with bamboo. 

 

I used to rely solely on bamboo until I realized my plants were too heavy and the wind too strong.  Add a little rain and my stakes were sagging. 

You don’t want sagging stakes.  Not only do they look pitiful, they provide no support.  And for anyone considering the use of pantyhose in lieu of ties because of its soft texture—think twice.  I tried that last year and it only led to mildew and ick. 

Then, when it was time to clear the stakes for next season’s crop, I couldn’t get the darn things off my bamboo!  They don’t cut well with scissors.  Best to avoid it altogether if you ask me.  Now, meandering further into Julie’s garden, I noticed this contraption. 

Yes, that’s a watermelon housed within a tomato cage.  On the one hand, this is smart logic.  Watermelons are vines that will climb if given the opportunity, and their fruit is heavy…

 But this is a “no-no!” :)  A wire cage will do nothing (but get in her way!) for her watermelons.  Perhaps one of the children snuck into the garden on a whim of helpful elf-like behavior and mistook it for a tomato?

 Never know.  What I do know, is that placing her squash, zucchini and watermelon near the edge of her planter box is SO smart.  Talk about best use of space, this is it! 

  

With limited dirt area, she’s allowing her vines to sprawl out onto the grass where they will blossom and grow; a feat that does not require dirt.  Ashley has done much the same with her zucchini.  As you can see, this one is quite content hanging out on the ground outside its planter box.

 

She’s added some lovely wooden trellis support for her cucumber and beans.  Though I have some doubts as to the identity of this particular fellow.  What is that thing?

Reminds me of the zucchini I grew last fall that dwarfed into a pumpkin.  Must have been another case of “seed escapees,” or in my case, amending my soil with “not quite ripe” compost.  Hmph.  Sometimes you simply cannot overcome the excitement factor.

 

Keep up the green growing, girls—you’re on a roll!