Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tomato Supports

I was able to get all of the tomato supports in recently as they are getting larger and it needed to be done soon.  I like to use a combination of stakes and tomato cages.  My tomatoes get very tall and need more than just the large 5 foot cages I use and I wouldn't want to use just stakes because I like that the cages help to keep the branches off the ground.  Some people might think using both supports are overkill but last year was the first year I wasn't constantly rigging tomatoes back up through the season.  I only had one plant start to lean in August after it was over 7 feet tall.

I don't use ordinary tomato stakes.  The largest stakes I can find at any store is 6 feet tall.  To make sure the stakes are strong and sturdy I like to insert them 12 inches into the ground.  At that point the stake then is only 5 feet tall and not much better than the cages.  So in the past I have gone to the lumber section of the store and using a 1"x2"x8' piece of cedar and had it cut into two 1"x1"x8' stakes. 

My local hardware store did this without any problem last year.  I have more tomatoes this year and needed a few more stakes.  I went back to the same place and they told me they couldn't do it.  They said that the saw was too powerful and it could snap the board or it could be a safety issue to them.  I tried to explain that their store did it for me last year on multiple boards and I knew it was possible.  Again they told me they couldn't do it and again I told them they had done so previously.  We went around in this circle about two more times.  I was polite but at the same time wasn't budging either, I needed those stakes. 

Finally one employee begrudgingly decided he would try to help.  When going through the saw the boards did make a snapping sound but nothing happened, and they were able to cut them.  The employee however did shake his head in disapproval the whole time and I knew he was thinking this woman is crazy and I shouldn't be doing this.  I felt sheepish and guilty while he was doing so.  I thanked him when he handed me all my stakes and left quickly.  I felt a bit bad that I didn't just leave when they told me it wasn't possible but how else was I going to get my super long stakes?

Luckily in the end it all worked out and now my tomatoes are properly supported.  However I don't know what I will do next year if I end up needing more stakes.

1 comment:

  1. I am glad you got your stakes after all. I am just finding out how big tomato plants get. I had no idea!