Thursday, August 2, 2007

HERB GARDEN, TOMATO CAGES

The herb garden is at it's height of glory right now. The Joe Pye Weed is awesome. It is so hard to believe that in the Spring the herb garden is flat, with no plant material showing. I always look at it and think that it just isn't possible that in a few short months it would look like this. This is my favorite place, there is always something blooming, and the butterflies are most abundant here. The bronze fennel is the only plant that is not as tall as it should be. I think all of the plants froze out this winter, so these are seedlings, and won't reach there usual 5 foot height until next year.
Marc, at the gardening desk blog, has asked about the different means bloggers use to keep tomato plants under control. In previous years I have let the tomato plants sprawl all over the ground, and I ended up with a lot of rotten tomatoes. The 80 year old lady that I help in her garden has a unique system, she puts one tomato cage into the ground, then wires another cage upside down to the top of the first one, and stakes the whole thing with aluminum pipes. She has been using the same ones for years, with great success. I tried this with mixed results, maybe they just don't make tomato cages like they used to, but mine usually fall over. I have tried all of the cages, and spiral wires, etc. on the market, but have never come up with anything that I have been happy with.
So this year I was not sure what to do. I also planted way to many plants, so buying more cages was out.
We had a concrete approach poured for a new garage, and when the work was done, there was a partial roll of the wire left that they lay on the ground to reinforce the concrete. We couldn't get anyone to take it off or hands, and because I believe that there is a use for everything, I decided to make tomato cages out of it.
I couldn't believe how many cages I got. I thought that I would need to stake them, but have not gotten around to it yet. I keep thinking that I will go out some morning and they will all be toppled over, but is hasn't happened yet. I have kept any branches that venture outside the cage trimmed off. So far they have worked out really well. I know that storage could be a problem, but I think that I will just leave them in the garden over the winter. I also kept one to grow potatoes in. I will report on how those turn out at a later date.

3 comments:

Connie said...

Your herb garden is beautiful!

Marc said...

I know I'm late in commenting, but I love the tomato cages!

I think I will have to try them next year. I wonder if you can buy that concrete wire in small quantities?

Kylee said...

WOW! Your tomato towers look GREAT!