Today I am thinking about tomatoes.  I am at odds with myself about what tomatoes I am going to plant and whether I will start from seed or not, but I find myself looking longingly out the back door at my homemade tomato cages and wishing to see them filled with bushy tomato plants and scrumptious fresh tomatoes.  In the last few years, I have planted several different varieties of heirloom tomatoes from seed.  I especially enjoy the cherry and grape tomatoes and the ones that survive popping directly into the mouth are used in chili, soups, and stews.  Last year we had an unexpected visitor in the garden when we had a surprise orange cherry tomato plant pop up!  So, when we decided to grow tomatoes,  we  decided right off the bat that we did not want to waste any time, money, or energy on the pitiful tomato cages that are sold in local stores.  I wanted a REAL tomato cage.  The kind of cage that screams giant tomatoes.   The kind of cage that can be used year after year and not fall down under the weight of hundreds of plump, juicy tomatoes!

To achieve this sort of tomato growing support, we had to trot down to the local Tractor Supply and purchase some fencing, about fifty feet, to be exact.  We sat out on the lawn, under the tree, with a pair of snips and heavy gloves.  I wanted each cage to be about 4-5 feet tall, and 24 inches diameter.  We cut 18 lengths of fencing, bent the remaining wire around the starting side, and several hours later, we had our 18 cages ready for tomatoes.

To stake the cages, I use my favorite garden tool- electric fencing rods from Tractor Supply, $1.20 apiece, and INVALUABLE!  These fiberglass rods have served so many purposes in our garden and are inexpensive and re-useable.  The only problem with these cages, is that now I am wishing we had made more of them!  Soon I will be starting my little tomatoes from seed, and for now must remain content to look out a the cages lining the back fence.

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