Thursday, May 19, 2011

Tomato Cages

Yesterday I pulled the row cover off the tomatoes and put in the bottom half of the new tomato cages.  Evening temps should hover in the 50's in the short term, so they no longer need their baby blanket.  In the past I have run trellis between stakes, which has worked fairly well.  I spied 'Texas Tomato Cages' last year and decided to order some this spring.  They are impressive!  Very heavy in weight, and I LOVE that they fold flat for storage.  That was a big selling point for us.  The nice part is that now I can split my tomatoes up into multiple beds in the future for rotation purposes.  I purchased only 6 cages this year as they are an investment, so a couple of cages were set between two plants.  The true test will be to see if they can support them both.


This is just the bottom half of the cage seen above, as the plants gain height there is an additional piece that goes on top to bring the height to six feet.  I think I ordered the 20 inch diameter cages.....if it wasn't raining cats and dogs I would go measure and take more pictures, but this is all I have at the moment, lol.

I could not get the tines in the soil as deep as I would have liked thanks to all the rocks in my yard, but they all went down the depth of the raised bed at a minimum, and will hopefully hold as the season progresses.  They even make 2 foot extensions to bring the cages up to eight crazy feet- but I don't see my maters ever needing all that head room.  :)

The Sungold plant I have been growing for my Mom went home with her yesterday, and it had a cluster of fruit growing!  My plants only have flowers, funny how the one guy hanging out in a pot being exposed to the elements made fruit.  Hopefully mine are not far behind.

In other news the sweet potato slips arrived yesterday (Georgia Jet and Vardaman), but with days of rain in the forecast (and things already drenched) I decided to hold off on planting them.  I had intentions of potting them today before the T-storms hit, but I did not make it.  For now they are heeled in the tomato bed with an upside down nursery pot giving them some protection from rain and wind.  Notice I could not add sun to that equation.  Hmph.  The 10 day forecast is calling for 3 partly cloudy days, and 7 with showers and/or thunderstorms.  This weather is bad news for all the fruit in this region.  Anything blooming right now is not being pollinated.  I may not be getting any apples this year after all, and that just plain sucks.

8 comments:

Kelly (The Sorry Gardener) said...

I'll be interested to know how your Texas Tomato cages work out. I've read good things about them but don't have any. Also, I had been thinking about doing a group cage as you describe and it's good to know its pitfalls.

Annie's Granny said...

I'd love to try the Texas Tomato cages, but I jut can't see putting out all that $$$$ (at my age!!!). I get by with what I have, so I guess I'll have to be satisfied. But I'm jealous. ;-)

Robin said...

Keep us posted on how they work out for you. I have read good things about them. I don't know if I could swallow paying the price though.

SouthCoast Guy said...

I've never heard of those before...I hope they work well

Kelly said...

IMO it is the shipping that makes them expensive (though I know why, the box was HEAVY). For the gauge of the galvanized steel, I feel the price is not unreasonable (just under $20 per cage before shipping). They are made to last.

AG- Your rig up some great cages for yourself, but I have a feeling you would get your money's worth if you invested. I don't see you retiring from gardening any time soon. And your tomatoes head for the roof. ;)

Sue said...

Don't listen to AG---she secretly wanted to be an engineer---buying tomato cages would take away her excuse to rig up her creations!
:D

Erin said...

I love watching everyone's tomato supports! Fun times, it's kind of the gardener version of the Olympics LOL!

Kelly said...

You gals are cracking me up. thanks for the laugh, I sure needed it!! :)