Spring is here. It’s my favorite season. Today, I thought I would take you into the garden with me to check on my tomato plants. Plants that I started from seeds in January (What’s in the Greenhouse-Seedlings post). In February, after the seedlings grew a set or two of true leaves, I transplanted them into small foam cups (What’s in the Greenhouse You win some You lose some). Only four weeks ago in my post (What’s in the Garden Tomato Plants), I shared how I planted 32 tomato plants (8 varieties of tomatoes – 4 plants of each variety) into two raised garden beds that measure 4 feet wide by 16 feet long. Most of these tomato plants were still quite small. In four short weeks, they have grown amazingly.
It is time to support each plant. My original plan was to tie the plants in one bed to a hog panel and allow all branches and suckers to grow. In the other bed, I planned on attaching them to strings and breaking off most of the suckers. After my husband set up the hog panel in the first bed, I decided to put hog panels in the middle of both beds. In the first bed we placed the panel 18 inches above the ground so that we would end up with about six and a half feet of height to support the tomato plants. In the second bed we already had a frame that allows us to put shade cloth over the bed. Because of the height of this frame, we placed the hog panel only twelve inches above the bed.
Next, it was time to start training them to grow toward the hog panel. In the first bed I attached one end of a piece of bailing twine to a long spike and the other end to the hog panel. I pushed the spike into the ground. Lastly, I used plastic tomato trellis clips to attach each plant to the twine.
In the second bed, I already had twine attached to the frame and spike in the ground, so all I had to do was attach the plants to the twine.
Once the plants are tall enough, I will begin attaching them to the hog panel.
The plants have grown a lot in the past month and upon closer inspection, I have found a few plants have begun flowering. Oh, the joys of springtime in the garden!