Thursday, June 27, 2013

Tomato Cage Fight (Testing) It's Down to the Wire!

Giant radish was hidden in the tomatoes!
It's bad luck to say it, but all the tomatoes are still standing.  Too early to call a winner for support, but cheap lumber is in the lead.

On the outside we have the classic wire tomato cage shaped like an upside-down cone and made of something that looks like I might hang my t-shirts on it.  I didn't stab it into the ground in its factory-made condition.  This isn't exactly a scientific experiment, my tomatoes really need support.  So, I...
bent out the bottom prongs so they would enter the ground vertically and not bend the cage or have difficulty going into the dirt.  It is also pushed down to where it actually rests on the bottom ring.  They are definitely happier than the unstaked tomatoes.

FYI - I hate the word 'actually' which almost always means, "No, I'm smarter than you and this is the RIGHT answer."

Like a train wreck, you have to watch the UnStaked tomato.
The Right Stuff cage is still standing - if somewhat hard to find.  The square, right-side-up cone that is open on one side looked like the best design and was made of substantially stronger material.  The logical design tricked me into thinking I should put a large tomato plant into it.  One cluster of flowers and one sizable side branch with flowers broke off.  Stability it has, but if your tomatoes are overgrown, even the opening on the side won't cover your sloth.

The most stable and best support SO FAR for the overgrown tomato plants is the pallet wood.  I pounded a piece every three plants and then strung twine back and fourth through and around the plants and tied it to the nail heads that were still sticking out where the pallet used to be nailed together.  Again, procrastination is my friend.  I have said so before!

The first pallet tomato cage is even more substantial.  On the end of the row I pounded in the posts then nailed them together with a piece of pallet wood about four inches above the soil.  This supports the heavy plants from the bottom.  I still have string woven in and around the plants.  They certainly look like the strongest contenders.

My friend Laura tells the tale that her husband, Thor, bent steel concrete reinforcement into cylinders with his bare hands and that it's the tomato cage bomb
No photo=Urban myth

The "Control Group" is scattered throughout the two crops of tomato plants.  They are not staked or supported.    I meant to do that. Yeah sure.  ;)

One huge variable hasn't been added to the experiment's results: tomatoes.  The weight of the tomatoes may shift the sands of support. 

Don't be surprised if we have a come-from-behind, pull yourself up by your bootstraps winner!  The end is near.  Unless they survive and then they may continue, but some things are too strange to imagine.

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