Life in the Garden Part 22: More tomato stake lessons

Yesterday I wrote about staking my tomatoes too tightly. That's not the only mistake I made this year.

Once I knew it was time to stake the plant, I bought these neat and cheap bamboo hoops. My plan was to allow the plant to grow up in the middle and draw strength from either side.

2009-05-30 Garden (33)

I made a few mistakes here. You can see the first one in the predominantly bare stem. It tied just the main stem and didn't do anything for the leaves or branches. In a few strong winds, they all ripped off leaving only a thin crown at the top of the plant.

In addition to that, I decided to get fancy (which almost always leads to disaster). I tied a couple pieces of twine to the stalk, but for a couple of the supports, I looped it around the stem instead of tying to it.

Here is a closer look.
2009-05-30 Garden (33)_Cropped

I though it would give the plant greater range of motion and let it move back and forth across the twine safely. Unfortunately, what I actually did was put it in a saw. The result was inevitable.

2009-06-13 Staking (2)

Fortunately I have a bunch more tomato plants. And this severed plant may have inherited something from my zombie cilantro near by. Because a new plant is growing right out the bottom.

2009-06-17 Zombie Tomato

It looks like I get a second chance with this one.


Hayley/Shu Fen said...

i grew tomato plant for 1.5 years until it was 1.5metres tall but Aphids killed it before it could bear fruit :(

Vicissitudes of Life

LDK in STL said...

Great documentation of your gardening. I, too, am now the proud owner of zombie cilantro! I am hope my tomatoes also have the same luck.

Lola said...

As in my earlier comment, pantyhose works because there is some "give" to them (if not tied too tightly).

As far as aphids or other pests attacking tomatoes, plant basil around them. The basil keeps the pests away. For some reason they don't like basil.

Anonymous said...

You know what's really funny - I'm reading along and I think to myself, didn't I just read a blog where the person used velcro strips on his tomato plants. I should mention that in a comment.

And then I scrolled down and...well you know the rest

But hey, at least you know I was actually absorbing what I was reading, right?

Cromely said...

@Shu Fen: Wow. 1.5 years with a tomato plant requires some patience. I had a problem wiht aphids indoors a few years ago. They really liked my basil. I don't have too many problems with bugs just because I'm 5 floors up.

@LDK: At least something good may com from that weather you're experience. The heat should help the tomatoes as long as they get plenty of water.

@Lola: Hmm. I've had aphids attack my basil indoors a couple years ago. May I'll try Thai Basil over there instead of the regular.

@Grace: LOL.That's great. Glad it made an impact.

Not John Chow said...

I love growing plants but, I never seem to have the touch required.