Kwik Sew 3740

This is a great pattern. I LOVE it. It is nearly instant gratification.

Click to enlarge


The Proven Tomato Cage for Tall Tomato Plants

I was just reading Pioneer Woman's blog and she posted about her favorite tomato cages. I took a look at those tomato cages and knew that they wouldn't work for those of us blessed with huge tomato plants.

By far, the post that gets the most search hits on my blog is this post on homemade tomato cages. I want to post an update on the new method we tried last year as I believe it far surpasses anything we have ever tried in our 17 yrs of gardening. In Oregon, the tomato plants grow quite large and most tomato cages will only support half the plant, if that. This new method we discovered is fantastic. It is sturdy, holds the whole plant very nicely without damaging limbs, and allows easy access to the tomatoes. This was the first year all of our tomato plants stayed upright and no limbs collapsed from the weight of tomatoes. (think $$ savings!!!) I took pictures from different angles so hopefully this will be clear to understand. Click on pictures if you'd like to see a closeup.

You can see 3 rows of metal fencing posts - they are around 6 feet tall (before hammering in the ground) my husband in the picture is 6'5". The first row of fencing was for our green beans (bottom of the pictiure), so look at the other 2 rows above.


Plant a row of young tomato plants. Hammer metal fence posts in a row on both sides of the tomato plants - about 4 feet apart between posts and 4 feet between each row. Roll out concrete reinforcing wire and attach to the fence posts using zip ties. As the tomato plants mature and needs support, use narrow sticks (approx 5 feet long) by pushing the stick through one side of the concrete reinforcing wire and all the way through the other side of the concrete reinforcing wire. Weekly, check the tomato plant and see if more limbs need support. This picture is showing how we inserted the wooden sticks through the reinforcing wire. When the tomatoes are ripe, simply reach through the reinforcing wire.

Wooden sticks through the reinforcing wire

Side view showing 2 rows of fence posts zip tied with concrete reinforcing web with tomato plants growing down the row and a runaway squash summer squash plant trying to get in on the action.

Unfortunately, I neglected to take pictures when the big tomatoes were huge. These pictures were taken when the cherry tomatoes were just starting to ripen, so the plants weren't even full height.

This method is a great one in that everything can be reused each year. I found the fence posts on Craigslist very inexpensively.

If you use this method, please let me know how it works for you.

Happy gardening!!!


Family Day at Seaside, Oregon

Click to enlarge picture

We spent a wonderful day at the Oregon coast yesterday. Tall Dude didn't have school or work, so we made a family day of it and it was so beautiful. On the way there, it was really rainy until we made it over the mountain pass and then it was beautiful sunshine. The hike was great, but a bit muddy. We then went to the beach and the kids played in the waves with their bare feet, flew a kite. We ended the day with a bonfire and roasted marshmallows. Such a sweet family day!


Pearly and VBall

Pearly completed her 2nd and final season of volleyball this year. Her Mustangs team was undefeated and league champions. Proud Mama is hugging the 1st team All Star - woohoo!!!

Here are the 2 coaches who have made her what she is today. This was at the banquet and awards ceremony. You couldn't ask for better coaching.

Pearly's nickname: The Wall - because she's a middle blocker and it's a little challenge to spike a ball with a 6 ft 2-3/4-in. blocker standing in front of you! I love her nickname!

Although I will actually miss the crazy business, I look forward to slowing down and more crafting/sewing!


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