Wednesday, January 6
tomato tee pees
I've taken a new tack with the tomatoes this year. Tomato tee pees.
They seem to be working well so far. I decided to do it this way for a few reasons. One is that we have a few bamboo groves around the garden so we use bamboo for most of our vegetable trellising, fencing and other basic structural needs and unlike regular tomato stakes, they are slippery and smooth and don't take to normal methods for tomato staking and supporting, the other is that I don't have to sacrifice perfectly good stockings at that time of the year when I'm least like to care. This year i planted more tomato plants than we have tomato stakes so a new method of providing structural support was required. Ive got tomatoes everywhere; in pots and in the ground.
As tomatoes apparently love to be free, hang loose and don't really appreciate trying to be fully productive under restrained circumstances (being adhered to a stake) I tried a tomato tee pee method this year. This tee pee approach allows for movement of the plant in a breeze and apparently encourages growth and development due to some molecular/biological function in the stems that I quite frankly cant be bothered looking up and explaining. As I also hate having to tie up tomato plants periodically during growing season, this method looked very attractive as it requires just one major time investment.
A tee pee of bamboo is erected over each plant and secured at the top with twine or wire. A piece of twine is then tied to the base part of the major tomato stem and then tied to the top of the tee pee. The new growth at the top of the plant is then 'twirled' around the twine as it gains height, which takes about 2 seconds a plant to swing around the twine. Soooo easy to do and it allows for that movement. No gagged and bound tomatoes at Chez Pan this year.