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.Right 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). Our 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.