So, Friday a couple of my support poles for my tomatoes fell over. I've been sort of waiting for this to happen; I noticed the pole near the middle starting to lean earlier this week. The problem with untreated ash branches is that if you bury them, they will break off at ground level within a few years due to the buried wood rotting. I use them anyway, because I have literally tons of them laying around, with more tons waiting to be cut down.
While the garden doesn't exactly love this unwelcome disruption, all the things on poles are pretty resilient, and they are laid out in such a way that when they fall, they aren't likely to land on anything delicate. My biggest problem is that setting in new poles will just cause extra stress, so I'm going to drive in some temporary supports to hold up the existing poles.
You can't really see the netting that the tomatoes are on in these pictures, but it's basically a soccer goal net, attached to the poles and covered in tomatoes. This makes the fallen poles extremely difficult to lift, especially when trying to be gentle. Once hoisted up, they're pretty easy to hold in place, and I was able to quickly tie them to the new supports. The bottom cord is hard to see in the picture, but very important. Whenever connecting to a support like this, always do your best to attach securely at the top and bottom of your support, to minimize rotation.
This bed was built into hardpan clay, so trying to drive these wooden stakes in was quite an ordeal. If you have to do something like this, I recommend 'pre-drilling' your hole by hammering in something like a horseshoe stake. I couldn't find my spare metal stake, so I had to start my holes with the head of a pick.
These tomatoes had needed some extra attention anyway. A good portion of them at the end that broke were growing into the deer/bird netting that encloses the garden. This is the kind of tragedy that happens when you don't have time to properly tie, trim, and train your tomatoes.
In less than an hour, everything is back to its proper upright position, and much better trimmed and supported. One nice thing about tomatoes, you can kink the stems and they hardly even care. The other affected plants were all beans, which show a similar lack of concern for being abused.
The fence for the pole beans had also been leaning for a while, held up by two volunteer sunflowers. Since I was out there with stakes and the hammer already, I also threw some extra stakes in to support these beans and the cucumbers. I didn't get pictures of the rest of the project, but we'll see the results in later update posts.
That'll conclude this little post. Hopefully tomorrow I'll find time to post about the other weekend project, our first maintenance harvest. Thanks for reading through, hope to see you back!