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Posted on 12 November 2010 by

DIY-Budget Tomato Gardening

seed-trayBy Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

Gardening in recent years has become a popular hobby and a way of stretching the food budget.

But items used for gardening sometimes can be gathered for free by reusing or re-purposing but normally they require money.

Below is some of my money saving tips that I have learned through many years of raising tomatoes.


Assorted containers are any tomato gardener’s friend. These can be as varied as buckets, hanging baskets, planters, and bags of soil to name a few. Discount stores, at the end of the season sales, and peoples’ refuse are great places to look for containers.

Another technique to save money is by creating your own Topsy Turvy planter. This type of planter requires a container with a hole in the bottom and a means to hang it with such as a handle or chain. But Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 27 May 2010 by

The Tomato Chronicles: Supporting Your Friends

supportBy Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

Tomatoes and people are very much alike.

During sometime of their life they need a little support.

People sometimes need financial support, sometimes moral support and sometimes physical support that only the touch of human can bring.

Tomatoes are much the same. We gardeners plant them in the best soil, feed them the best food and mulch them to keep them comfortable but after all that they still need support.

In the past years I have used many different types of supports from tomato cages, tomato stakes and a trellis last year. Each type of support had pros and cons and never really served my need.

My plants out grew my support much like human children but this year I am going to try something different. I am going to try an old chain link fence. I got this idea from a garden catalog that showcased a red plastic fence that could be used year after year.

To be honest it looked like the caution fencing used at construction sites and since I am an avid recycler I decided to try my chain link fencing as my tomato support this year. If you have interest in using this idea it is simple but if not there are some other ideas for supports below.

Chain Link Fence Support


1. Place post in ground where you Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 13 May 2009 by

FAQ on Staking Tomato Plants

stakeBy Michelle Fabio

If all is going well with your tomato plants, soon you’ll be considering staking them.

If you need a refresher course on the process, here is list of frequently asked questions about staking:

What is Staking?
Staking is a way to physically support tomato plants as they grow.

Why should I stake tomato plants?
The two most important reasons you should stake tomato plants are:

– Staking provides physical support so tomato plants don’t break under the strain of fruit or inclement weather;

– Staking enables better air flow through tomato plants, which results in less internal moisture that can result in disease.

How do I stake tomato plants?
There are several ways you can stake tomato plants including single wooden stakes driven into the ground, frames, trellises, and cages.

How do I know which staking method is right for my tomatoes?
Which staking method you should use for your plants depends on the type of tomato as well as how many tomatoes you’d like to Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 02 June 2008 by

Tomato Cages and Stakes and Trellises, Oh My!

By Kira Hamman

A hotly debated topic among tomato gardeners is how to keep those precious spheres off the ground.

Letting plants sprawl along the earth makes them more susceptible to pests and disease, not to mention that it makes harvesting the tomatoes harder.

But while everyone seems to agree that keeping tomato plants upright is the way to go, exactly how to do that is hardly unanimous.

Some people are cagers. They swear by those metal ice cream cone-shaped contraptions that you plunk over the seedlings while they’re Read the rest of this entry »


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