2022 - Volume #46, Issue #2, Page #38[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Tomato Stakes Make For Easy Harvesting
Bunniss has a large garden and needed a better way to keep his plants in order. “One year, I had 60 tomato plants and sold tomatoes by the bushel,” he explains. “I grew tired of trying to pick tomatoes through those wire cages that most people use. So, I designed my own.”
Bunniss’ solution involved a 4-ft. steel fence post, a 4-ft. piece of wood lath cut into three equal pieces, and a 16-in. section of 2 by 4-in. wire fencing. Everything is held together by twisting wire around the laths and post, then stapling the fencing to the ends of the laths.
At first, he used a wood post but found that steel posts worked better over time. They lasted longer and weren’t damaged when pounded into the ground through compact soil.
To secure the plants, Bunniss strings together two to three plastic shopping bags looped together at the handles. This plastic “rope” is gentle on plants and prevents broken stems, as is common with standard wire cages. For larger plants, he adds another bag to the chain by tying it to the end with the others.
Now, even when plants grow through the fencing, Bunniss doesn’t have to stick his hands through to harvest them. “I only have to pick the tomatoes from one side. No more sticking my hands through the wire cage. That’s always very irritating with small, tightly packed varieties like cherry tomatoes.”
Costs for this garden setup are minimal. Bunniss has used it seasonally for six years and has only made minor modifications over that time. “Some of the laths need replacing now because I didn’t put any finish on them, on purpose,” he explains. “I didn’t want it to leach into the plants.”
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Tony Bunniss, Webster, Minn. (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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