Monday, June 17, 2013
Selecting Tomatoe Cages
I purchased new tomato cages. I increased the number of plants this season and needed new cages. When I started my garden, I purchased my cages from Tractor Supply. The price was reasonable and they were heavy. Look at what I purchased for the same price three years later, the light blue and lime green cages. They were heavier than the regular tomato cages, but nowhere near the initial cages that I purchased.
Now that I have them in, I regret not waiting to see if Tractor Supply would get another shipment of the large green cages. Most stores have sold their stock and don't plan to get additional shipments in, so I settled. I was afraid that if I waited any longer, the only cages that would be left would be the small thin cages. I didn't think they would hold the heirloom tomatoes once that started producing. One thing that we must have as gardeners is patience! I guess I wasn't carrying patience that day.
I think they may work if I stake them the way I did last season (shown in the bottom pictures). I tied the cages to t-posts last season and they held my bounty. Because the cages don't have the height of the larger cages, I'm going to put the t-post in the middle of the cages so the plant can continue to climb. I think my heaviest tomatoes this season will be the Tiffen Mennonites. I used one of the heavier cages for this plant. I'm thinking they should all top out at 6-7 feet.
I put in 14 tomato plants. I didn't plant enough last season. I was wishing I had more at the end of the season. I don't want that to happen again. I love eating home made salsa and chips during the winter months. I also thought I'd plant enough to share. I'm greedy when it comes to home grown tomatoes, I don't like to share. Plus the local food banks have a shortage, I want to share a few with them.
My tomato plants this season:
3 Cherokee Purple
2 Black Krim
2 German Johnson
1 Red Beefsteak
1 Sweet 100
1 Black Cherry
1 Boxcar Willie
I was unsuccessful germinating Cherokee Purple seeds last year, but had success with Paul Robeson. This season, I was unsuccessful with the Paul Robeson. Oh, the life of a striving gardener. What tomatoes did you plant? I'm hoping to do a seed swap this fall. If you see anything on my list that you would like to try, please leave me a comment. I'll be saving seed from the heirloom tomatoes. Hoping that you will do the same.