I thought I'd do an update on our tomatoes. If you remember we've had quite a bumpy ride with these guys. First, pots, then un potted, then re potted together, then in the ground... all over. Then we lost some, then we thought we'd loose some but they came back. Next year we'll do better. Story now is - they growing huge!
These photos just cannot do them justice. We have 3, just try to count just three tomato plants here. They take up the space of about 12' x 12'. Feet! not inches.
We always knew that we had no idea what we were doing. We knew there would be 'staking' at some point. Never sure when that should be or how to do it. By the time we realized it was necessary the plants had overtaken this area of the yard.
We had a few plastic straight, green, gardening, pin stakes. Those were fine, until about July when they were all finally in the ground and growing like weeds. When your plants are twice as tall as the stake, you're doing something wrong.
Over the last month or so I've found things around the house/garage/porch that'll do. We have random pieces of old molding, or baseboards hammered in the ground. We had a huge pack of those gardening twist ties and put them to good use. As you will see I also used a... get this... bungee cord, to hold the plant us.
Sorry about the sunlight in these photos. I promise the tops of the plants aren't white.
You can see how big the area is. Huge. All in all we have 3 tomato plants, 2 basil plants and 1 pepper plants. The non tomato plants are tiny in comparison but I believe (and I could be wrong) but actually pretty accomplished for their size. The basil in the for ground of these photo above is doing really well actually. We'll need to just harvest it all to make pesto soon before it gets too cold.
ps. it's still summer.
My system for holding the massive branches off the ground include twist tying each branch to the next one. It creates a huge daisy chain of branches tied to one another, in hopes that some stability will hold the thing up. Really? Not really.
The branches are now so huge, and long and heavy that they droop on the ground. These here is another ingenious idea I had. Use bricks (we have a ton (literally a ton)) in the garage) to prop up the tomato branches from underneath. Probably marketable I say, working pretty good. The great tomato pusher upper.
I wish I had my hand in this photo for size comparison. The branches are thick. They droop since their so heavy, and now even heavier with actual tomatoes! The whole reason for growing this green thing in the first place! Speaking of...
Plant 1 is huge, and not super fruit full. Yet. It now has a decent amount of green tomatoes that will be ripe in the next couple weeks I estimate.
Plants 2 & 3 are amazing. They're big, long, thin, not so thick, and amazingly fruit full! We get so many small orange tomatoes from them! It's insane. Maybe not to a real farmer, but to me it's crazy! Every day now I pick about 6-12 tomatoes.
Also. Before anyone comments about what we should do differently next year, Yes we have been pinching the suckers. I know that much. Which isn't much. I pinched as much as I could. But after those suckers start growing flowers I just don't have the heart. I know this promotes the bushiness.
So. What helpful hints does anyone have? What should we do differently next year from the beginning?
(also what do we do with these plants when the winter come? pull them up? leave them?)