Training Tomatoes

Today I spent most of my time in the garden tending to the tomatoes, training them to grow within the Texas Tomato Cages.

About a month ago, Jeanne Nolan and two of her coworkers stopped by to check on the garden, and during that time, they added bamboo sticks inside of the Texas Tomato Cages to help stabilize the then relatively small tomato plants as they grew.

Now, the plants are nearly outgrowing their six-foot tall tomato cages. As an inexperienced gardener, it’s quite the sight to see and a little intimidating when it comes to try to train these plants to grow vertically within their cages rather than the direction they want to grow.

Fortunately, I’ve had other coworkers –who are much more experienced gardeners than I am—guide these plants as they grew, so I didn’t have to tackle the entire plant. But the plants had grown considerably since then and many new shoots had formed outside of the cages.

Trying to guide the first plant, I ended up breaking it. That taught me if there is too much resistance from the plant do not force it; stop and let it grow on its course. From then on, I was more cautious, testing the resistance of each plant before guiding it to grow vertically within the cages.

Nolan will be stopping by Friday to check on our garden. When we planted our garden in early June, she had mentioned that we’d most likely be adding extensions on top of our tomato plants, and at the rate these plants are growing, it looks like that will be happening soon.