Simply Resourceful

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

Using Cattle Panels As a Tomato Trellis

Cattle panels seem to be a versatile item around the homestead.  Last year we used them for the greenhouse project and bean trellis.  This year we are using them as a tomato trellis.  I have seen gardeners cut the cattle panels into boxes or lay them parallel to the ground for supporting their tomatoes.  We decided to try a simpler approach of not cutting the panels and just staking them perpendicular to the ground.  The advantage to this approach is easy access to the weeds.  We will see how this method works and give an update later in the summer.

In between the tomatoes we alternated basil and borage.  Basil enhances the tomato flavors while tomatoes enhance basil flavors.  In the picture above you can see a small borage plant to the left of the tomato.  Borage is a companion plant that helps combat the tomato hornworms by attracting the parasitic wasp that lays its eggs on the hornworm.  The wasp larvae kill the worm by eating it.

Look closely...there is a large hornworm on the tomato stem.  If left alone, the hornworm will strip the entire plant of its leaves. 

Here is a dead hornworm after the wasp larvae killed it.



1 comments :

Carol Pack Urban June 15, 2015 at 1:19 PM  

I'm laughing to myself because I had just said to my husband this weekend that we should use our extra cattle panels in the garden! I want to lay them flat to keep cats out.

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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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