Saturday, May 30, 2009

Tomato Cages

Caging tomatoes makes it sound like tomatoes are wild and ferocious beasts. But as I said in the previous post, you really can grow tomatoes. It isn't rocket science or brain surgery. My husband prefers "caging" tomatoes in the garden, but you don't need to do that. He likes to keep them up off the ground to produce a ripe, healthy fruit.

Check to see if the variety you are growing is a bush (determinate) or a free growing, vining tomato (indeterminate). The bush plant is a compact plant, but the vining tomato plant needs to be confined as it can spread out into the garden and grows tall needing substantial support.

You can purchase cages at a nursery/greenhouse center, but hubby likes to make his own because they are very sturdy and can hold a large plant. He uses 4 x 6 concrete re-enforcement wire and encircles the plant with it. He stakes the wire to help hold it securely so that when the winds hit, it won't blow over. Be sure that the openings in the wire are large enough so that you can get your hand in to the plant to harvest tomatoes and big enough to withdraw your hand holding onto that huge, ripe, juicy tomato....mmmm, yummy.

I can just envision this treat in my salad. And, don't you know, there is no taste comparison to a ripened-on-the-vine tomato to a hot house tomato. The vine tomato wins every time. I guess that is what keeps gardeners going knowing what tasty rewards we get at harvest time.


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