John McDonald

Blogging about politics, life, and the web

And the (tomato) fix is in!

June 8th, 2010

Yesterday morning, I woke to find the peppers had finally survived two nights in a row without any serious bug attacks, but the best and biggest tomato vines had reached the literal tipping point.

Unfortunately, they don’t grow like this:

tomato diagramIn the real world (and in my backyard), the vines had collapsed in to a big heap of stems trying to crawl up each other in search of more sunlight and more distance from the soggy soil.

Of course, the whole point of this exercise in backyard gardening is to save money on fruits and vegetables, so the last thing I wanted to do was run out to Home Depot to buy expensive trellises or tomato cages.  Heck, those little $3 tomato cages wouldn’t even support half the length of these vines – and I don’t think they’re done growing!

So the trick was to wander around aimlessly in the shed and the storage room until I found something that would do the job without costing any extra money.

And as luck would have it, there was something perfect sitting right there – or I should say six perfect somethings!

dried bamboo is a great poleLuck would have it that a dried out stalk of bamboo makes a perfect, sturdy pole!  I can’t say exactly where the bamboo came from, but that’s probably one of the benefits of having a girlfriend who has some borderline hoarding tendencies.  Not bad enough to get in the way around our relatively small house – but prevalent enough that she manages to collect stuff that will be useful for any kind of art or construction project. If you do know someone who has bamboo growing in their yard, just offer to help them trim it in the summer and I’m sure they’ll let you keep as much as you want.

Anyway, with a little bit of twine, I was able to tie up the vines to a bamboo pole stuck in the dirt.  Since the bamboo grows in segments, there are perfect little notches you can wrap the twine above to get this ridge to get the perfect vertical support without putting too much pressure on the plant.

One more crisis averted!

Total cost:  $0.00

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