Last week I planted a variety of tomatoes in my kitchen garden…roma, cherry, tomatillo, Mr. Stripey and a few other heirloom varieties. I planted a full flat plus a few pots and I still have a full flat left to plant out in the garden beds. That’s 94+ tomato plants, not counting the straggler seeds I started which have taken off in the heat we’ve been having over the past week.
Seems excessive right? Here’s my thought process…
We live in the semi-country and have deer, rabbits, raccoons, coyotes, an insane number of blackbirds and other “pests”. I set the goal to can enough tomatoes and green beans to keep us for a full year. So…if I lose 2/3 of my tomato plants, I would still have enough to eat and share and can. Heck, if I lost 3/4 I would probably still be able to hit my goal.
Now, that is A LOT of tomato cages so rather than buying the cages for a dollar a piece at Tractor Supply, we are getting a roll of wire 5′ high x 100′ long and making our own. From all that I’ve read, these are sturdier than the standard cages. We have already made cages for the three trees we planted and staked them down with tent stakes. The pictures I have seen in Backwoods Home magazine show some monster tomato plants growing inside these cages. They just keep climbing up and up and up.
I know from prior experience that reading about how to do something and actually doing it are two different things and I fully expect to make mistakes and learn for next year. A lot of what we are doing is based on theory that makes sense and that other gardeners have implemented with great success.
So…too many tomatoes? Is there such a thing?