Simply Resourceful

Simple ways to be more conscious about how we use our resources.

Homemade Tomato Trellis and Tomato Hornworms

This year we have somewhere in the vicinity of 70 tomato plants.  Some were planted from seeds, some were given to us, and others were volunteers.  Well, what a jungle the tomato patch has turned into!  We have a few trellises that we made a few years ago with electrical conduit and trellis netting (costs about $15 to make); but to minimize resources, save money, and keep things local, we made some with logs from the woods, some extra fence posts, and miscellaneous pieces of balling twine and rope.  Jon and I are still trying to find the best rope or trellis netting to use in the garden.  Some materials fall apart whereas others are coated with plastic.  What is your preferred trellis material?


This is one of the tomato patches and it's a jungle even with trellises!  Instead of planting them in a patch, we will plant rows next year.  Peas will be planted the same way next year to minimize vine entanglement.

Another opportunity to use the post hole digger...
Here's the second tomato patch.  This area was a last minute decision because of the donated plants we received from a friend.  We plan to remove the sod this fall and expand the garden to include this area for next year.  I know it's hard to see the tomato plants because we're a bit behind on the weeding.  Due to an appendectomy in the middle of May followed by a 2 week vacation, family visits, and hurting my back, Jon has been taking care of most things himself.  There's a lot to do around here (especially things like weeding which requires bending over) but Jon has been a good sport about it while managing a full time job away from home.

Some branches already have a crotch to set the top log in, but if they don't, you can...

make a tenon and mortise with a drill.

and for small logs you don't need the tenon.  You can use this same idea for a fence stake where you just put a hole in the log big enough for the stake.

These hornworms are the trickiest little buggers to find in a tomato patch because they are extremely camouflaged. 

 If you don't have these, you are lucky because they strip all the leaves off the plant in a night or two. 

Thanks to parasitic wasps, these hornworms die from the eggs the wasps implant on the hornworm's body.  I was hoping the chickens would eat them, but they don't.  They are a bit intimidating with that big horn on their tail, and to top it off they bite!


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A weekly update on our adventures of trying to be more self-sufficient by using resources wisely. We explore a variety of topics that most broadly fit in the "Homesteading" category, i.e. beekeeping, organic gardening, edible landscaping/fruit forest, food preservation/canning, woodworking, soap-making, and environmental stewardship.

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