We have a "EARLY GIRL" tomatoe plant. we just picked off 90 tomatoes
because the vines got so long and heavy, that they bent the cage. They
went over the top,which is 4 feet high, then grew down to the ground
and are now growing out all over the garden. They usually keep growing
untill the end of October.
Are we supposed to prune them in some way as they are growing? The
vines are over 10 feet now. HELP. San Rafael, Ca.
If you prune the vines, you/ll lose your last-season crop!
What you can do is construct a teepee over the cage and tie the vines to it.
I lash three, 8-foot poles (oak or maple saplings from my woodlot) together
with twine over the cages. It/s a quick, easy, and cheap solution, although
it/s best to do before the vines overrun the confines of the cage.
"Sue Clotere" < firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message
The tepee idea sounds like the way to go, to keep that plant off the ground.
I had the same problem with those little cages my first year gardening.
They're not too bad for determinate plants that don't get too big, however
for indeterminates, like your Early Girl, either a much larger cage, or
staking is the best way to go.
Using one stake per plant doesn't seem to work easily enough for me. I'll
try to describe how I staked mine this year. So far it's working great, and
I'll probably do it this way from now on.
Basically I built a fence. I bought some of those lightweight green fence
posts with the little tabs to attach the fence to them, and the um... cleat
thing at the bottom that you step on to press them in the ground. The
tallest posts were 6' tall, and about a foot of it was below the cleat, so
only about 5' of it would be sticking above the ground. They have some holes
drilled through them already, which made it easy to use some pieces of wood
to extend the height if them to about 8' by using some cheap hardware to
bolt the wood to the stakes.
After sticking those in the ground, I took a roll of 6' high green, plastic
coated fencing. The stuff comes in rolls of various lengths. Unroll some and
cut to the length needed for that row and attach to the posts. It doesn't
have to go all the way to the ground, since the plants don't need any
support at that point. The 6' high fence still isn't tall enough for the
modified stakes, so using wire cutters I trimmed another lenght and attached
to the top part of the stakes.
It sounds like a hassle. It's really not that bad to construct. you can tie
off the tomato vines very easily to the fence, and plant your tomatoes on
both sides. All the materials I picked up at Home Depot. I'm sure it's not
the cheapest staking method... however that stuff should last a long time.
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