Thursday, July 26, 2012

Tomato Support With Repurposed Hawthorn is a Sharp Idea: Maybe Too Sharp!

Tomatoes tied up
to horizontal bar
My tomatoes want a lot of support so they can grow tall and catch a lot of sunlight.
This year I was inspired by a structure I saw at the Crest Learning Center's plant sale. They had a horizontal bar running the length of their tomato table, with s-curved wires hanging from it to support the plants.
For my version, I got some shepherd's crook hangers from McLendon's, with a hummingbird or dragonfly motif. I attached them to the raised beds made of discarded Half-Priced Books shelves and for a crossbar added a branch pruned from the hawthorn a month or two ago.
The branch worked pretty well; I had to carve the butt a little bit to fit but that just made it more secure. The only real downside I discovered when I handled the bar without gloves; those tiny little thorns all over the branch are sharp! This was a bit painful, but of more importance, I have to be careful when tying up the plants that a thorn doesn't cut the tie. Probably next year I'll go with a pine branch instead.
I am tying up the tomatoes with repurposed ribbon, which we get bags of donated to the thrift store; no-one wants to buy partial rolls but some are willing to donate them.
I'm happy to be able to build much of my garden with repurposed materials; it's both responsible and economical. It's also a challenge;  I can always go buy just the right thing, but it's a fun challenge to avoid that whenever possible. I'm sure I could have crafted the crooks, but I just liked the look. Isn't one of the reasons to be frugal that you can spend money when you want to?

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