Honestly. If I could be in the garden all day, learning from those with experience- I would be oh so delighted. Tomatoes are a hot item in the Andres’ Community Garden this season. Ranging from Heirloom tomatoes, Early Girl, Big Boy, Big Girl, Beef Master, Beef Stake, Roma Tomatoes, Cherry, and more.
At the garden, I am learning things need to be done efficiently and sustainably. Although wire cages are relatively cheap they are subject to corrosion, usually too small for the indeterminate tomatoes, and tend to bend and topple over in strong winds. Consider the longevity of the homemade PVC cage versus a wire cage. It is durable, easily stored, and recyclable. Putting the sustainability points aside, these tomato cages are excellent for letting your plant climb so it can produce an abundant harvest. The indeterminate tomatoes will be topped off at a certain height in order to put all the “energy” towards the fruit.
A member of the Arvada Gardener’s garden club (and my gardening mentor) has graciously let me reference the video he made of building sturdy PVC tomato cages.
Garden blogger Bill Bird of Natomas constructed 4- and 5-foot cages out of sturdy PVC pipe.
“I will never go back to using wire cages again,” Bird said. “It is a very strong cage and can handle a full crop of ripening tomatoes with ease. It cut down on the spoilage of tomato plants loaded with tomatoes hitting the ground and rotting,” Bird said. “That happened far too often with me. With the PVC supports, I keep everything off the ground and away from water, soil and bugs.”
This support keeps the vines, and the fruit off the ground to prevent unhealthy plants. In addition, using a PVC pipe cage like the one above will allow for root watering for conscious watering practices.
I can’t wait to watch all the tomatoes grow, and bite into one flavorful home grown juicy tomato!
- Heirloom vs. Supermarket Tomatoes: Which Tastes better (friendseat.com)
- The Science of Tasty Tomatoes Lies in the Chemicals (nlm.nih.gov)
- Decoding tomato DNA: Genetics could yield sweeter fruit (csmonitor.com)
- Dollars and Scents: The Chemistry of a Delicious Tomato (scientificamerican.com)
- 10 Tomatoes to Grow in Your Container Garden (treehugger.com)
- Why Do Fresh Tomatoes Taste So Much Better Than Store-Bought Ones? (thesciencebulletin.wordpress.com)