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Some pictures and a question

Posted by prairiegal 4/5 NW Iowa (My Page) on
Tue, Jan 13, 09 at 15:48

Hi, all! I started a (crooked; neither hubbie nor I understand how to sight straight lines) potager in 2007, and I'm very happy with my conversion from row gardening, for the most part.

However, I'm running out of room! I knew at the time that I had no place for corn, potatoes, or large vining melons or squash (still hoping to convince my neighbor to sell me part of his acreage that abutts my back yard)...but I got hasty and too optimistic, and plunked raspberry and blackberry canes in the garden, against the fence.

Ooops. I knew better, but they NEEDED to be planted asap. Now, of course, I need to move them. I've seen some lovely trellises for bramble berries AND for tomatoes (I need better supports that those dumb wire baskets) and was wondering if you'd share your favorite links to "How To" instructions for sturdy AND attractive garden supports.

Here are some pics of my garden in 2007. I'll make another entry for 2008, as I don't know how else to provide the link.

Here is a link that might be useful: Gardens in 2007

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Some pictures and a question

And here's some of 2008 (in the latter part of the album).

Here is a link that might be useful: Potager

RE: Some pictures and a question

  • Posted by riotbrrd z9 / Sunset z15 / No (My Page) on
    Tue, Jan 13, 09 at 22:15

I'm afraid I don't have any advice for you, but -- WOW! what a beautiful garden. Cute kitty too!

RE: Some pictures and a question

Wow, what a great Potager! Mine will be 3 years old this spring and I am still not finished. The arbor should be the last structure I will add (For now anyway) I am so happy with it. Gardening is so much easier this way and the yield I got was amazing. Check out my pics if you wish.

RE: Some pictures and a question

Regarding tomato supports: I went to farm supply store, bought 4-ft wide x 6-ft tall chain link gate panels. These were leaned against each other teepee-style and attached using the fencing connections that come with the gates. My raised beds are 4 x 10 and I have two "teepees" in each bed. I plant two tomato plants on each side, giving me four tomato plants per "teepee". My perfectionist side made me spray paint the panels bronze, and they have been standing and growing tomatoes for four years now. Best money I ever spent and the best tomato cages I have ever had.

RE: Some pictures and a question

Where are your pictures, luvbocelli?

Marcy, do the tomatoes grown THRU the chain link or do they just lean against it?

RE: Some pictures and a question

RE: Some pictures and a question


Through some trial and error the past several years, I have learned it's some of both methods. When the plants are about two feet high or so, I use the velcro-type garden tape (you can get it at Lowe's) to coax the main branches of the tomato vines to go where I want them to grow. Then from about four feet high on up to the top of the "cages" I do some weaving. The problem with weaving is that if the vines get too heavy or big, the chain link will cut off the nutrients to that particular branch and you get dieback.

I've found however that the fruit tends to grow to the inside of the cages and pushing the tiny fruits through the chain link to the inside of the cages has been great as it gives their heaviness some great support and there is no sunburn to the fruits. Picking is easy also. You just peek inside the teepee and see what's ready to pick. No searching required.

Also, though I used to be a committed "de-suckerer" I have found you get a much better look if you just let the plants grow to their heart's content. My tomato plants usually top off at about 8 feet and you have a great top-heavy vine look at the top of the cages. Of course, if you like bigger tomatoes and smaller harvests, you're going to be stuck with pinching suckers and won't get the fuller look on the teepees.

I also grow early spring peas on them and growing mesclun underneath the teepees gives me salad greens much later in the summer as the tomato vines shade and keep it cooler underneath. It's been a great way to intensive garden my space.

Hope some of this helps. Happy gardening and pray for spring!


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