Monday, June 11, 2012

Keep Your Hands To Yourself

This weekend SM put up the tomato stakes.  He was way overdue and knew it...But as we all know, life gets in the way sometimes.

Anyway, last year SM used those huge, heavy metal T posts and staked 4 tomatoes to one post.  Now when tomato plants get mature they become monsters.  Or at least ours were last year.  I didn't really care how they were supported as long as they were supported enough that we didn't snap the stem.  SM was NOT happy with the setup though.

So this year, SM used individual wooden stakes that he pounded into the ground.  (Hopefully there's no vampires buried under the tomato patch. If there are they're dead!:)  He then used "stretchy ties" to attach his little babies to the posts.

This year I've decided to try a more hands off approach with the tomatoes.  Try to NOT prune the lower leaves off the plants.  Just let them be.

It seems like there's TONS of opinions out there about how to manage growing tomatoes, but I remember Jane over at Hardwork Homestead posting about an experiment she did with one patch of fussed over tomatoes and one patch left to grow on it's own without any intervention.  There are pros and cons to both methods, so pick your poison. 

Me?  I told SM that it would be fine to leave the tomato plant alone and NOT stake them.  He looked at me like I was crazy.  I did throw down some straw to help keep the dirt splash off of the plants.  I also tossed some diluted Epsom Salt water on them yesterday.

It's hard isn't it?  On the one hand I say "Leave it alone" and on the other I'm trying to help things out.

Sometimes it's hard to keep your hands to yourself...(Best summer song EVER.)


  1. I'm a no-touch person when it comes to tomatoes. Mine is laziness....but it works, so hey, why not?
    Have a great week, Tami!

  2. I don't prune mine but I do stake them as fruit tends to rot more if it touches the ground.

  3. I have to admit, even though I did the experiment and saw the results I am still tempted. I decided not to fool with any tomatoes this year, just heavily mulch under them with wood chips so they are not laying on the ground. Well they are starting to get some size and tipping over and I keep thinking "am I doing the right thing? should I go get a stake?" But I am going to be strong and stick it out and let them all free range. Sadly they are saying this will be the worst year for late blight yet, so no need to put to much energy into something that dies before it fruits ;)

  4. Hmmmmm, epsom salts, eh? Forgot about that. Well, considering mine are doing fine, I think I'll leave them alone. It's SO tempting to want to help them along, isn't it?

  5. AT least you have Tomatoes! Planted 40 plants the other day and the Deer got them all!
    We have 30 starters still in the house. Will try to get them in this week-end. I think I will place a milk jug over top of each one until they are big enough that the Deer will leave them alone.

  6. This year I am going to see if TLC helps mine. I usually cage them and then they fend for themselves. This year I am also trying to prevent the onset of disease. We will see if it works!

  7. Since this is our first year growing a large number of tomato plants to sell at market, we (when I say "we", I mean my husband) are very hands on. Pruning, weeding, spraying (organic approved stuff to keep the bugs to a minimum), etc. Those are definitely some pampered little tomatoes!

  8. Looking good - picture loads and loads of tomatoes and they're sure to materialize and reward both of your for your hard work :)