Thursday, October 2, 2008

Hangin' Maters

Right before I moved to Oregon I was introduced to the magic of hanging tomato plants. I was at a nursery and they had a giant cherry tomato plant hanging upside down absolutely laden with juicy little red orbs. Salivate away. I looked at the setup and it seemed simple enough. Plant a tomato in an upside down bucket with a hole in the base, wait till it gets pretty big, then hang the bucket so the mater is upside down. I don't know if this is my theory or it is something I was told, but I think that hanging it upside down frees the gardner from having to support the mater plant as well as allowing the mater to not try to support itself, therefore freeing up energy for juiciness production.
Well, we have an awning on the south side of our porch. I figured it would be beautiful in summer on our side porch with a row of hangin maters blocking the 
sun. Like a plant cave or something.

So I started the maters from seed in the greenhouse real early. Transplanted some starts into old buckets, and let them grow rightside up for a good while. I put bolts into our awning supports midway up instead of all the way toward the front because I was afraid that the plants would put too much torque on the supports that far out. This is what it looked like.

It was pretty awesome if you ask me. But alas, the Summer sun in Oregon is farther to the north than I expected and the awning provided constant shade, not the best thing for maters I'm sure. The maters started stretching toward the sun getting all bent and I was convinced that upon fruiting, the stems would be broken from the weight of my 9 delicious heirlooms varieties.


So I took them down and put em in the garden proper, but this kinda took up ALL the garden space. I tried planting stuff between the plants, but the maters got too big and crowded the others out. We have had TONS of tomatoes this summer. Yummy.

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