Friends inquire often about our garden and raised beds, lately asking about staking tomatoes. Are wire cages better, or what do we use to stake the tomato plants? This post is sponsored by Avant Garden Decor, and I’ll tell you more about what we learned.
But first …
Back in the corner of our city lot, we have 24 tomato plants in a large raised bed, soon to bring our family an abundance of joy! Tomatoes galore, freshly plucked off the vine, will be made into Sweet Smokey Zucchini Salsa, just like we canned (below) for gifts last year!
We tried something new this year, when Avant Garden sent us NEW tomato cages to use. So far, so good. They were very easy to put together, and our plants are supported well (and off the ground), which is a big secret to healthy, beautiful tomatoes.
Tomatoes can overtake the garden, by spreading and climbing, so these new cages have really helped keep those plants organized. They help prevent sagging and withering, too, without the fruit and leaves weighing down the stems.
If tomato cages aren’t sturdy enough as the plant becomes more mature, the stems will be too heavy for the tomato cages. Also, strong winds can easily blow over flimsy (wire) tomato cages. They say the heavy metal and flexibility to adjust them is important for plant growth.
When you use tomato cages be careful to tie the plant correctly, otherwise you can damage the stems. Tomato cages allow air to circulate freely through the plants and the foliage naturally shades the fruit. Using soft garden twine or plastic ties with your tomato cages is a good idea.
Our starts this year came from our friend, Terri, who grows hundreds of starts in the springtime.
Here are some of the tomato varieties: Purple Russians, Black Krim, San Marzano, Golden Jubilee, Sungold, Manitoba, Burpee Burger, Sweet Tangerine, and Costelutos.
Yum! We can hardly wait!
We’ll begin picking tomatoes when they reach the full variety size and the color is right. The color doesn’t have to be perfect, as they will continue to ripen after they are picked.
Other plants growing in our garden are Brussels sprouts and kale, squashes and beets and potatoes, and our lettuce growing period is just about up, because of the heat now in southern Oregon.
Are you growing tomatoes this year, and what kind of cages or staking do you use?
This post is sponsored by Avant Garden who provided the cages; however, all opinions are my own.
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