Gardening · Homesteading

Building A New Tomato Bed

When we moved this winter I told myself I could wait. If we had to, I’d skip the spring planting. Does that actually happen? As one can tell from this past month of posts on the blog, the siren call to plant can’t be quieted. I may not have my large beds made, but I can at least make small raised garden beds near the house, to fill in. To not grow anything? I just cannot do it I realized. I love growing tomatoes way more than that.

I couldn’t grow my own starts this year (for the first time in many years) due to the move, but that didn’t stop me from bringing home tomato starts from various plant sales. By yesterday, I had 6 plants, and had to do something about them. I found a huge stack of paver blocks, leftover from a project the former owner had done, so we hauled them out to the front. I put this bed, on the highest part of what passes as lawn, right off the lower patio. It’s next to the rhubarb plants.

It might not be the 75 plants of last year, but 6 of 6 different varieties, that will keep us tomato happy this summer.

One heavy bushwhacking with a weed whacker, then a layer of cardboard.

More progress. I layed down multiple layers of cardboard, to smother the “grass” which is really just weeds/moss.

Plants in.

Originally, when we were moving I wasn’t going to bring any of the tomato cages along, as our plans in future seasons is to grow in high tunnels, with the plants trained on string. I gave away all of the cheap plain metal ones, but had kept these strong, thick and coated ones. They are great for caging golden raspberries and similar, for support/shaping. One thing about tomato beds like this, is cages do work well. You can tie them together, for more support, as the tomatoes grow.

I’d say that zip-ties are a huge necessity for my style. This bed is surrounded by a massive sheet of hardware cloth that I repurposed. Not attractive, but it will work for animal deterrence.

I left one side so I can open it and access the entire bed. I will be adding in a layer of mulch soon. Otherwise, it’s watering, trimming, feeding and basically ignoring until picking season….months away!