Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Tomato Cage Details and Stuff.


( EDIT - Have pics now. Redating this a day later so it's at the top. )

My browser is being a pain, so I'm not able to get photos in right now. I'll have to try again later on.

When we were finishing the cage yesterday I took pictures so anyone who was interested could see how we took on the problem of an out-of-control tomato patch.

Of course, it would have been better to have built this before the tomatoes WERE out of control, but that would mean I was on top of things all the time and, well, that's just not going to happen!

First some drawings I made up that should be helpful.

Sorry, this one arrived sideways and I'm not going to redo it. LOL

The June beetles are OUT!!!!!!!!!!

We took a slight detour to spray for bugs.

Here are the furring strips. A pack of 6 for under 6 dollars.

Drive in T-posts, or something similar, along the perimeter of your tomatoes. Make sure they are only about 6 or 7 feet apart so your boards can reach and overlap.

You can see the posts and the first two courses we put in. You can also see how we threaded the boards THROUGH the branches in some places. Tomatos are so fragile. They ones on the outside can be tied gently back to the strips.

I know for many of you, a lot of these details will be a bit much, but I want those who have never even handled a pair of wire cutters to know what to do as well. Cutting a 4 or 5 foot section of wire off to go do several joints.

Michael, adding another board to the third course. Each one is approximately a foot or so higher.

After affixing the strip to the post, he adds the next strip on to the previous strip.

And tightens it up, then trims the long piece off to take to the next spot and use.

View down one of the T-posts, showing all three courses joined together.

One side is done!

And now both sides are done. It's a bit wavy because we came in after the growth. Next year we are looking forward to putting this in when the plants are first growing. It will be nice and straight then.

From a distance.

Wiring in cross pieces to keep the tomatoes from going sideways. We ran out of furring strips, so we plan on just collecting branches to finish. No sense in spending money we can creatively avoid spending.

Enclosing the ends.... and Michael, wondering what bit him now.

Don't forget to gently and loosely tie up those branches that are sticking outside. We can now walk around the tomatoes and the peppers have some breathing room again. There really was NO room any more and my precious leeks, on the lower side, were trampled. So sad. :(


Leah came by to help and visit again. We were so busy, I forgot to take pictures except for another sad turn of events. Only sad because of my quirky personality, though. LOL

I knew we were not going to be able to eat the grapes from the vineyard this year, due to the very strong antifungal we are using to try and save the grape vines. But as the vines were surviving, better than they'd ever done before, it was a joy to actually see clusters of grapes developing and prospering. I was even thinking of tasting, just a couple here and there, when they were ripe.

But, alas and alack, when we took a walk down to see what massive changes took place over the weekend - because it is ASTOUNDING how quickly things can change in the garden - we found that the black rot had overcome many of the grape clusters, despite all the spraying.

The leaves still looked very good, so I thought we were going to be fine. But it was in the grapes. I do hope I will not have to rip out nearly 100 vines next year and start over, but the fungus may be even down into the root systems. Only time will tell.

We made an executive decision, to just cut off all the grapes, even thought most of them looked fine. It was about two weeks ago we had that VERY rainy week. Black rot spores have about a 2 week incubation period from the time they spore, to the time the damage shows up.

This was one of two garden bags. Hey, we can pretend we are in France and Italy, stomping grapes!

Back in the house, Leah and I perused over wonderful herb and canning books she'd brought along, speaking in glowing terms of our gardening dreams. Then we got to some serious kitchen work, shredding summer squash for drying, pureeing veggies for rollups, and trying out a pickle recipe.

I'll post more about those later. I've got to get to work!




  1. Ha! The spider that I picked up was about the size of a pin-point!How did the thicker piles work better? I was just throwing stuff in there hoping that I wasn't going to screw the drying process up!

    I was looking at your sunflowers yesterday and meant to say how lovely I thought they were! Too cute! Glad today was another nice, windy-warm, day! Perfect for the outdoors.

    Oh my, an herb book! I've never written a book before, but I think that I might be able to tackle it with you... you must bring out the courageousness in me. ;-D

    And I wouldn't doubt that there was another gallon of cucumbers! That just means we need to get some more pickle recipes (Have you tried any yet?)... actually, I was looking at some zucchini and cucumber recipes (not together of course), and they looked wonderful.Will have to share with you...

    Ravelry is snobby and won't let you share your weblink unless you already have an account (which I do agree is completely worth it!) But here's the link to Rav if you want to join I am guitarchick265. Don't know if they still have the waiting list to be allowed on, but it has nothing to do with them not allowing someone, they just have one person "manning the fort" so to speak. Okay, this is long! But I hope you are having a wonderful day! Love ya~

  2. Cyn,

    I found out that Flickr changed coding and it conflicts with my Flock browser. Hoping they'll get it figured out by tomorrow, or I'll have to manually upload each pic.

    Drag and drop is sooooo nice.


  3. Well, at least it had 8 legs and you didn't let it scare you. :)

    The shreds dried so small, due to the water content, that your larger masses clung together like a web, whereas my sheets, which were spread out more thinly were difficult to take the z off from.

    I must. I find you a secretly feisty person. There is a Harley (or better, a classic Shadow) with leathers in you, girl. LOL

    Didn't try them yet. I'm still drying like a crazy woman. Not much appetite today.

    So Rav is a closed community like Xanga. I like that in many ways.

    Love ya back!


  4. I can't wait to see the pictures! I will be back tonight (If I can stay awake) or tomorrow.


I always enjoy hearing from others. If you become a regular commenter, I'll assume you are being friendly and pretty much comment regularly right back. :o) God bless and have a terrific day!