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Corn Crib Cage Helps Grow Tomatoes
An old wire corn crib serves as a giant tomato cage for Gary Griesse and his wife. The wire sides are mounted on a steel frame that mounts on a 3-pt. hitch and is hung with 30 heavy-duty tomato cages and a watering system.
“We raise about 30 tomato plants a year. Our cages are 6 ft. high and 30 in. in dia. and are made from concrete reinforcement mesh,” says Griesse. “I’m getting too old to carry 30 cages and steel posts to the garden each spring. Dragging a hundred feet of garden hose up and down the rows in dry years isn’t any fun either.”
The big wire cage had previously been used to graze turkeys on pasture. “I made clips for my tomato cages so I can attach them to the big cage and move everything to storage at once,” he says. “The individual cages mount inside and outside of the big cage.”
Rotating tomato beds is a breeze. This spring he picked the big “tomato dome” with a tractor 3-pt. and moved it to fresh soil. Watering is easy with a soaker hose laid in a circle between the plants.
“Last year the weather in our area turned dry, and everybody complained about a poor tomato crop,” says Griesse. “Our tomato dome was always humid with its concentration of plants. We raise about 9 indeterminate varieties, common varieties, and several heirlooms. All of them did well, with some yielding close to a bushel of fruit per plant. We had one 12-ft. tall cherry tomato plant that grew over the top of the cage.”
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Gary Griesse, P.O. Box 212, Harrisburg, S. Dak. 57032 (ph 605 743-2613; greaseman1952@gmail).

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2021 - Volume #45, Issue #4