I am a “creative” type – meaning I have an excuse to be disorganized and messy. Unfortunately, I also have an appreciation for order and clean aesthetics, (yes, I’m that guy who wants all of the things on the dresser to be lined up “just so”) which is in direct opposition to my messy and lazy nature. Eventually, these two aspects of my personality collide and I reach a point where I just can not stand a mess any longer.
Today I hit that point with my tomato plants.
I hate tomato cages… those wire funnel things that bend, rust, and blow over in the lightest breeze. Let’s just face it – they suck.
I also don’t like traditional wood or plastic stakes, because when you have a bunch of plants they are a real hassle to put in, and I’m way too lazy to tie up every little branch correctly.
So I’ve had a tough time keeping my little tomato garden from falling into disarray. As you can see… this year’s garden was already way out of control:
It’s always nice for me when I find a solution that keeps things in order, but still allows for slightly disorganized and random design.
I found this system at Lowe’s which is basically a combination of stakes and arms which function like cages. The difference is that you can build these into any shape you want, and you can attach the arms however you like. I guess the brand is “the Ultomato.”
It’s actually kind of fun. I found myself enjoying the totally random and unplanned layout I constructed piece by piece. I’m sure I didn’t do it the “ideal” way – but, no matter. It works. The stakes can all connect to each other so that they hold one another in place. I greatly look forward to my whole garden not blowing over this year.
The best part is that you can screw up and still make the system work. Just add another stake or arm in the right place, and problem solved. The stakes are flexible enough that this doesn’t cause a problem when the spacing isn’t just right.
After some serious thinning out of the greenery and adding more stakes, I came up with this little tomato city. Much better.
It may look like a crazy person built it (and that’s actually true) but it’s very sturdy, won’t rust, is reusable, and I still have a ton of arms left over for when I need them. Overall I’m happy with these!
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