Garden Update: Leaning Towers of Tomatoes

IMG_2990This week at the garden, I was informed that I bought “terrible tomato cages”.

Thanks for the “advice”, fellow gardener…a couple of months too late.

This first year has been all about learning. I didn’t remember from my dad’s garden (which is about twenty times the size of our plot) that tomato plants grow this much. I didn’t do a lot of research about each of the tomato varieties that we planted, but if I had, I would have learned that Brandywines (the tomatoes pictured above) are very heavy, and tend to weigh the plant down a ton. We should have staked it with a pile driver. (Kidding.) Now that we are harvesting the tomatoes, I feel like as long as we can keep the plants standing and producing, we’ve succeeded for Year One.IMG_2992IMG_2993Right now, since we cannot turn back time and buy sturdier cages, we are doing what we can to keep the plants stable and (as much as possible) out of the walking paths in the community garden. We bought some sturdy stakes and have tried to situate them in a way that holds up the cage along with the fruit-laden plants. We also brought some twine to the garden so we could tie up the wayward branches (as seen above on one of our Early Girls). IMG_3011Our garden plot isn’t going to win any Garden of the Year awards–especially considering the Wild West portion (pictured above…seriously, have you ever seen such a mess of plants?!) but we are really happy with our tomato harvests so far. We’ve pulled juicy red tomatoes from each of our four varieties and they are all sweet and delicious and there are many, many more green ones in waiting. As long as we can keep the plants standing, I’m sure we’ll be eating tomatoes throughout August and into September. We’ve also harvested a few more peas and some lima beans–not quite enough to make a side dish, but enough for me to have a first little taste of freshly picked peas and limas…a win in my book. IMG_2997IMG_3014IMG_3093

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4 thoughts on “Garden Update: Leaning Towers of Tomatoes

  1. Lookin’ good to me! ^__^

    About the tomato cages – I can’t tell 100% from the photo, but they seem fine to me. The trick is to ‘guide’ the branches out of the center of the cage while they’re still smaller and malleable. You can’t do this too late otherwise you’ll break the branches (like I big-time did this year). You basically want to avoid the tomatoes and larger branches growing in the center because that’s where all the crowding happens. Kind of like you have here, haha…

    Your plants are looking better than mine, though. I decided to go commando this year with no cages/supports and that was a huge mistake. My plants are almost entirely flat on the ground. Looks awful but they’re still producing.

    Like you, I should be getting a ton of tomatoes in the coming weeks. Can’t wait!

  2. Mom says:

    Wow! They look beautiful. Enjoy.

  3. Hi there! We grew tomatoes in containers (they were determinate) a few years ago, and used bamboo cages and tied up the branches with old pantyhose to keep them in line. Our harvest wasn’t that great though (lots of blossom-end rot). Yours are looking delicious! I like the last photo – looks like a little tomato-pea face.

    • kimberly ah says:

      Thanks for your comment, Laura!
      Someone at our garden uses those bamboo cages…I have a feeling we are going to invest in some better ones next spring. I think tomatoes are officially our specialty now πŸ˜‰ A lot of people in the community garden have had problems with the blossom-end rot, but other than a tomato here and there, we are having a good season…for tomatoes…not for most of our other vegetables though…can’t win ’em all I suppose! πŸ™‚

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