Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Helping Hands

Quick posting :

Over the weekend a neighbor friend of ours asked if I could help him make order of his tomatoes. Turns out the Baker Creek heirloom brandywines we gave him all decided to germinate. After  adding 6 cherry tomatoes purchased at Lowes now there are 42 indeterminates needing order. In keeping with the 'Gallows' in our front yard I went over to help him build a few for the raised beds he added this year.




Pretty simple to do. His beds are a standard 4x8 rectangle. Using 4 full length 1x2s @ 8'. The two sides are side screwed into the raised bed. The center is side screwed into a brace in the middle of the bed. Its strong enough to hold up the tomatoes without sagging. In keeping with wind mill tower principles we wrap a string around the cross member and then tie it off to a screw on the raised bed. Creating a 'pyramid'. Now when the wind comes rolling in and pushes sideways on the gallows it keeps them from flexing too far in either direction. Only thing left to do is create a loose loop around the stalk of the tomato and then gently wrap it around the center, tying off the end to the cross member. As the tomato grows up you continue to wrap it up the string. If you wish to keep them from being too unruly, clip off the suckers occasionally. Tomatoes grow stalk, leaf, cluster, stalk, leaf, cluster etc. In the crook of the stalk and the leaf below the cluster will grow a sucker.

Take care everyone!


  1. I like this idea...it's something I'll bookmark and try for next year. My tomatoes didn't do a darn thing this year! Make sure you not only post pictures of your garden, but your neighbor's too as the season progresses.

  2. Wow, that's very nicely done. An engineer would be proud, it's perfect. I love order like that. Of course late they season it seems order is hard to find but wherever you can get it, right? Good job@

    Yes, the neighbor's beds are very nice. Do you know what size he made the? Are they the same as yours?

    1. His are 4x8. I think in the photo there is 8 beds. (256SF) Our front yard utilizes 5x10 for the most part and two 5x12. The bar on the left of this site shows the front to come out to 436SF.

      Side note, 1st. We have a number of eggplants coming along as well. :) i'll be posting an identical post soon!

  3. Holy moly, 42 tomatoes! Mine always start out nice and neat but it seems no matter what I do they are a tangled mass by the end of the season. Last season I had to crawl on my knees into a tomato "cave" to pick.

  4. It's great to read about you getting out to help other gardeners in the neighborhood. Kudos to you!