Friday, April 25, 2008

More High-Rises on the Austin Skyline

After two summers of struggling to keep my tomatoes supported with free, second-hand, big box, too small tomato cages, I built six-foot, heavy duty Tomato Towers (cue echo sound).

At first, I wasn't too happy with the rust color of the concrete reinforcement mesh, but it really seems to blend in better with the garden than silver would.

It actually took me a while to get photos where the cages were visible. Of course, the main reason for building these condos is to keep the tomatoes happy and contained. And to prevent last summer's tomato massacre. After one of last year's summers heaviest storms, I asked my husband to check on the garden. He said it looked fine from the kitchen window. When I got up, I saw all the five and six feet tall plants--and their cages--lying toppled on the ground!

I yelled inquired nicely of the husband what was he thinking; obviously, my tomatoes weren't fine. He then admitted that he wasn't wearing his glasses when he looked.

So far the new condo inhabitants seem happy with their new digs. I've already eaten two of the yellow currant tomatoes.

I'd like to think this of this photo as the view from the penthouse apartment, but I'm afraid it might become the squirrel's eye view.

Now if I could just stop singing, "Movin' on up . . . to the DEE-luxe apartment in the SKY-Y-Y, We're movin' on Up!" I'd be a happy gardener.


  1. Dang, you stole my line about "movin' on up!" Great job on those. I ordered some from Gardener's Supply which sit a lot better than the cr*p from HD. If they don't work out, I may have to follow your path.

  2. Is this a hint that "Vertie" is short for Vertical?

  3. Love the headline.

    I had a neighbor up north who built narrow cages like yours.

    She then put the tomato plants on the outside and filled the cage with mulch, manure and dirt.

    Swore it was the best way to grow tomatoes.

    I haven't tried it.

  4. vertie: hmmmm... this is my first year to grow tomatoes... you have me wondering how tall my plants are going to get. I have no idea. I do have some bamboo stakes in the ground around them and I'm tying the plants to the stakes as they get tall. You saw mine when you visited last... Do you know if this will work or should I be thinking about something else?

    I like your title and I like your initiative to build your own... I also like the rust color better than silver.
    Meems @Hoe&Shovel

  5. How inventive and very stylish - real urban chic!!!

  6. Bonnie, if your new ones don't work, let me know. I've got some leftover mesh.

    Annie, I still think you and Pam need to enter the O/Henry Pun-off--May 17th.

    Herself, your neighbor's idea is certainly interesting. I'll keep it in mind for next year.

    Meems, the height of your tomatoes will depend on a lot of things, the main one being determinate v. indeterminate. Ind. can get up to 8 ft tall. I'm not sure about the black krim because they are new to me, but I've grown yellow pear tomateos for the past two years, and each time they would have reached six feet, at least. If you watch your tomatoes and keep them tied regularly, you should be okay. As you've already cancelled your vacation to be with them :-), I think you are on the right track.

    Patientgardener, I did end up liking the look of those more than I thought I would, but they are hardly my idea. All great ideas are stolen ones.-)