I know it’s somewhat disingenuous to complain about too many tomatoes after last year’s crop of *no* tomatoes, but. HELP! My tomatoes have so many fruit on them that my cages have completely disintegrated! All the vines are just flopped over on the ground. I know that’s how they like to be (being tropical fruit and all), but it’s a huge mess and staking doesn’t seem to be helping, they just pull the stakes over too. And now they’re fighting back. One stake just clocked me in the face (I’m lucky to have an eye!) Anyone have any thoughts on what to do? Oh silly Ann! I thought I could make my own cages out of cement-reinforcing fence! Sigh.
This might be too late for you this year, but you should definitely check out the best tomato cages ever. I really love these and hope to get some soon, although the price does seem like a hurdle to me as I usually grow about 20 tomato plants every year.
Last year when my tomato spirals (I like to prune my tomatoes to 2-3 stems) were falling over I ended up tying the spirals to my fence about 4 feet away. (The tomatoes were leaning away from the fence)
This year I put a metal fence post in the ground at each end of the tomato row and stretched fencing between them. I have been both tying and weaving the tomatoes into the fence. Would something similar work for your current situation? Make sure to drive the posts into the ground past the little metal triangle to give them more stability.
Just want to say that those texas tomato cages really are everything that Margaret says they are – I have seen them in action both at Margaret’s and Loomis Creek Nursery in their vegetable garden. They hold up the largest most over grown tomato vines I have ever seen without even a wiggle.
Thanks Leslie! I am enamored of those cages, but I’m a frugal kind of gal, so I thought I could make my own! Last year was my first year of having a real garden since I was a kid, so I didn’t learn many tomato lessons, obviously! But this year, oh this year! I am learning so much. Since the disintegration I’ve just started leaning the vines in their cages wherever they want to go. Doesn’t seem to be slowing them down a lick, though it does make harvesting a bit more challenging. Still, I’ve pulled over 50 pounds out in two weeks. Nothing to sniff at :-)
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Welcome! I’m Margaret Roach, a leading garden writer for 25 years—at ‘Martha Stewart Living,’ ‘Newsday,’ and in three books. I host a public-radio podcast; I also lecture, plus hold tours at my 2.3-acre Hudson Valley (NY) Zone 5B garden, and always say no to chemicals and yes to great plants.