Running Out of Cages

Tomatoes are only 2 months away

Tomatoes are only a few months away

Even though the weekend was rainy and gray I soldiered on and planted the tomatoes and peppers. Due to the expansion last year I was able to plant a few new varieties of tomatoes. Along with the standard Roma and Better Boys, I put in some Arkansas Traveler heirlooms and cherry tomatoes. Both new varieties were created in Arkansas so hopefully they will be able to handle the heat and water issues that always make tomato growing so painful. I planted eight Romas, instead of four and I hope to can tomatoes this year if all goes well. Then of course I increased the cayenne and jalapeno plants to four each which should have me in peppers for the entire year again.

At least the rain kept me from having to water everything

At least the rain kept me from having to water everything

As you can see above I created the well system for the tomatoes. I have found this really helps to trap the water for each plant, especially when the temperature gets above 90. I don’t bother to do that with the peppers because their roots go deeper into the soil. I plan to top the tomato plants this year to force more fruit production, but more on that when the plants are bigger. I did almost run out of tomato cages this year and will probably have to buy some new ones anyway since most of mine are pretty beat up.

About Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

This blog attempts to collect some of the things I try to create with food and booze. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail. My hope is to entertain and maybe help people think a little harder about what they decide to eat and drink.
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22 Responses to Running Out of Cages

  1. peasepudding says:

    That is impressive planting! We have had so little water this year that a lot of our plants are dying, we only have roof collected water too so unable to water them.

  2. That looks interesting. I haven’t seen the “cages” before. Over here they tend to use thick metal spirals that a firmly anchored in the soil. The “cage” seems much more sensible to me as, in my experience, the tomato is a pretty unruly plant.

  3. It’s looking good! We “top” the plants too when they get to a certain point…you get bigger tastier tomatoes that way.

  4. Oh to see the bare earth! Here we don’t risk planting the tomatoes until June 1. I wish I was joking. There is nothing more satisfying than eating that first ripe tomato. When are yours ripe—early July? We’re lucky to eat our first by August 10.

  5. I always plant tomatoes and have a really nice herb garden. I should add jalepenos this year. Good luck with yours this year! Have you ever read “Gardening by the Yard?” It shows you how to maximize your space.

  6. Eva Taylor says:

    Wow! We can’t think about planting until May 24rth, lucky you!

  7. sallybr says:

    awesome! I look forward to the results of your hard work…

    Gardening is something that seems almost impossible for us right now, maybe the day will come in which we’ll try it again. Until then, I will live vicariously through you both

  8. A sight for winter-sore eyes, Greg! Our peppers and tomatoes are still teeny, tiny seedlings. Looks like they may be living in the basement for another 2 months…
    Good to know you got only rain out of the storm…there was 6 inches of snow at Dad’s!

  9. I can’t wait to see the fruits of your labor.

  10. You have a great start on some lovely summer pickings! I am waffleing on whether to turn my little garden into just a flower and herb garden and forget the vegetables this year or to do part flowers and part veggies. The past few summers here in Nashville have been a hot, dry, disappointment when it comes to vegs, but my zinnias and herbs have thrived. I live about 1/2 block from the large downtown Nashville Farmer’s Market so I am thinking I may just go there for most of my produce? Can’t decide? Hmmmmm.

  11. Gosh we keep having hard freezes here and we’re further south…you’re a brave man! Your garden looks fantastic.

  12. Misky says:

    Pffft. It’s minus 2c and snowing here. One day I might look toward the garden with a view to gardening.

  13. spree says:

    Wow! Can hardly wait to see what you do with all those tomatoes! Looks like you’ve got enough for the neighborhood!

  14. You are brave. It keeps freezing here. Snowing actually as I type. Are you all past that? Lucky!

  15. ChgoJohn says:

    You’re so far ahead of us. Great idea trying some locally developed plants. If this works, you’re going to have a great crop this year — and maybe a few plants that will last throughout Summer. Wouldn’t that be nice fo a change?

  16. Like the rest.. I’m in envy of your rain.. and I never thought I’d be saying that.. but rain and a lovely garden like that, soil to dig my hands into, would be a welcome sight right now.

  17. Kristy says:

    Love the look of things growing up out of the ground. Hopefully it will start here soon too. 🙂 (Not that I planted anything that needs cages. 😉 )

  18. Lauren says:

    Nice. I look forward to hearing how topping work out for you — I’m curious.

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