Monday, June 1, 2015

Fancypants Tomato Cages

Like everyone who has a hobby that is largely seasonal, I resolve to do better at the start of each season. I'm going to fix gardening mistakes of last year. I'm going to be more mindful about watering. I'm going to eat more fresh produce instead of picking peppers and letting them shrivel on my kitchen counter. I'm going to remember to check the tomato plants as they grow so I don't return a week later to find they've abandoned their cages and are trailing across the pepper plants, bent on garden domination, with stems too thick to bend back into their cages.

One goal I made for this year was to (finally) make my own tomato cages. I like indeterminate (vining) tomatoes, and although I have a trellis that we built, it isn't really tall enough. I used this video as a tutorial, and Andrew agreed to give up a weekend afternoon to help me build four of these. He's a good egg, that Andrew.

I meant to take photos of the process, but I was too busy doing to document. I did stick a piece of rusty concrete reinforcement through the bottom of my sneaker at one point. Hooray for up-to-date tetanus vaccines!

The cages we built are taller than the ones from the video because--why not? They look comically tall, so I'll reevaluate at the end of the growing season to see if the plants need all this height or not.

When we finished, I decided to spray paint them. It. Was. Horrible. I painted both sides of one cage, one side of the other, and gave up. You can see, though, that the red looks a heck of a lot better than the rusty.

Anyone who knows me knows what happens next. I spent this past Saturday in the garage with a quart of oil-based red Rustoleum and a little foam brush. 

It, too, was horrible.

I painted the two unpainted cages. I still have one side of cage #4 to paint, and I think I'll try to spray paint it again. I figure that both spraying and foam brushing are terrible, so I'll switch off to keep the horror of both fresh in my mind.

I sincerely hope the tomatoes appreciate this and reward me with delicious beefsteak tomatoes to make veggie sandwiches. 

And I promise to water more and be more vigilant against tomato hornworms. I promise.

1 comment:

  1. I hope your foot is okay! OMG. I, too, love the tomato. Three of our neighbors are growing my baby tomato seedlings I started in March. I act like they're my "babies" when I see them out: How's my tomatoes? I love the cages--very curious to hear how well they work.