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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Tomato Cages Redux Toplef10Tomato Cages Redux 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

Tomato Cages Redux I22gcj10Tomato Cages Redux 14dhcg10

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Tomato Cages Redux

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Tomato Cages Redux Empty Tomato Cages Redux

Post  OhioGardener 4/3/2024, 12:18 pm

I decided to re-do my "permanent" tomato cages this year. For the past several years the four cages were all down one side of the bed with other vegetables such as Basil, Lettuce, etc., down the other side. Like this drawing:
Tomato Cages Redux Tomato17
This worked fairly well, but the tomatoes suffered from insufficient air flow around the plants. The lettuce benefited from the shade of the tomatoes, but the basil not so much.  So this year I took the cages out and re-installed them in a off-set pattern so each plant will have air flow on all four sides, like this drawing:
Tomato Cages Redux Tomato18
Currently I am thinking of planting a basil in each of the open spaces between the cages.  But, I am wondering if I could plant a smaller determinate tomato, such as a Roma, in the spaces between the tomato cages? Since the tomatoes in the cages always get over 6' high, it wouldn't seem that the shorter determinate plants would not block the sun and air flow from the taller plants.  I haven't started the seeds yet, so I still have time to plan, and experiment with layouts.  Very Happy

Anyone ever tried a similar layout for tomato plants in cages?

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Post  sanderson 4/3/2024, 9:47 pm

What about dwarf or patio tomatoes? They would stay below 2' where the indeterminate leaves/stems have been removed early in the game? Or peppers?

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Post  OhioGardener 4/4/2024, 8:21 am

sanderson wrote:What about dwarf or patio tomatoes?  They would stay below 2' where the indeterminate leaves/stems have been removed early in the game?  Or peppers?

Good ideas!  Maybe some Eggplants would work there. Very Happy

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Post  Docwas 4/5/2024, 6:24 pm

Victory Seeds has the largest collection of dwarf tomato varieties.
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Post  Turan 4/5/2024, 10:26 pm

That is one plant per sq ft, right? I find I can not grow anything very big between tall tomatoes. Mostly I grow marigolds, allysum, and lettuce. When I tried peppers they were seriously stunted. I find that I can plant determinates to one side of the tall determinates, but they have to have enough room because they really want to grow bigger around.
Also you need all the basil possible to pair with the tomatoes!

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Tomato Cages Redux Empty Dwarfs are new to me

Post  SMEDLEY BUTLER 4/5/2024, 10:30 pm

Just started growing 4 different dwarf varieties this year. I sometimes exceed Mel's recommendation for the amount to plant in a space.
 I do plant thick. I talked an older gentleman at church into starting a couple of dwarf tomatoes this year. I usually supply him with tomatoes. 

I think I'm going to miss my old indeterminate tomatoes, some of these I have been growing for 20 years or more. I will keep growing the heat tolerant tomatoes, especially Big Beef and Traveler76. 

Just found this forum recently, had no idea there was a Square Foot Gardening Forum. I've been using Mel's Mix for years (it's wonderful stuff). In the early 80's I saw Mel's original book somewhere and asked the library to order it for me. Been at it every since. I don't use a trowel to plant, You can bury your hand past the wrist in my mix.
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