Saturday, April 17, 2021

Tomato Cages and Other Garden Delights

Eileen had asked for a photo of the tomato cages that M bought for me, so here they are:

Tomato Cages

Sticks around the pepper plants

They are wire rounds, smaller at the bottom and larger at the top, held together by 3 (or is it 4?) metal rods, the ends of which are set into the ground.  They are meant to provide support for the tomato plants as they grow so that the plants remain vertical rather than sprawl on the ground, not to deter attention from garden cats.  I might still need to poke some sticks around the base of the plant to discourage the cats.

In the meantime, the zucchini seeds have come up and the first true sets of leaves are starting to form:

Zucchini Seedlings

I will have to thin them out a bit.  I'd like to transplant the seedlings I thin out, but, I will wait until later, next week, to do so, because we are supposed to warm up to 90F on Monday and it might not be the best time to transplant them!  It's supposed to be a little cooler, later in the week.

Nearby, the avocado seedling I grew from a seed is coming along, nicely:

Avocado Seedling

We've a long way to go before we can even think about picking avocados from it, but, the leaves are supposed to be edible, used as a culinary herb or to make a tea, so, maybe I can harvest a few leaves once it grows big enough to have a few leaves to spare!  Right now, I am leaving all the leaves in place to produce food for the plant!

Nearby, the double colored rose has another bud opening:

Double Colored Rose Bud

I really need to weed the rose beds, one of these days!  The grass roots migrate to the flower beds because I water there.  

I've been seeing lots of butterflies in the garden; the majority of them are the white cabbage butterflies, but, every now and then, I've been seeing swallowtail butterflies.  I haven't been able to photograph them, however (my cell phone camera leaves a lot to be desired!)  But, today, this Western Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio rutulus)  obliged me:

"You are too well camouflaged, Butterfly; it's hard to see you"

"Oh, that's much better, Butterfly!  Thank you!"

I was reminded of the time when I saw this Giant Swallowtail butterfly a couple of years ago.

One of the things I've been doing in the garden has been collecting all the small rocks and stones that keep coming up when M digs in the garden.  There are a couple of spots on either side of the back steps where there is bare ground and the grass hasn't been growing.  I have started to place the smaller rocks and stones there to help cover the bare spots.  I've a bit more to go on this side and then, I'll probably put a little soil on them to fill in the spaces between the stones.   It's sort of what I want to do in the side yard, too, eventually, although I will need to buy a load of stones to put down, there, not to mention proper weed barrier! 


Today, I woke up early to watch the news coverage of Prince Philip's funeral.  Then, went out into the back garden to take the pictures and do a little gardening.  I dug up and transplanted one of the small asparagus ferns to the side yard - I hope it will grow there.  Later, I picked some chard and beet greens and watered the front garden.  I cut up and sauteed the chard and beet greens, added them to some cooked "noodles" (angel hair pasta) and had that with chicken curry for dinner.  

Today, I am grateful for:

- Television
- Butterflies in the garden
- Tomato cages
- For all the plants in the garden
- Phone calls with aunt and friends

Today's joyful activity was being out in the garden, tending to the plants, enjoying the sunshine and the birdsongs.

Plans for tomorrow include watering the back garden and maybe some weeding.

How was your day?  Do you grow tomatoes?  If so, do you use tomato cages for your tomato plants?  


  1. We definitely use tomato cages for our tomatoes. They just make things so much easier. However, my father used stakes only and removed all side shoots for a neat, good producing plant. I don't seem to be disciplined to keep this up myself.

    1. I sort of staked the volunteer tomato plant that came up, last year. I didn't remove any side shoots, however, but, maybe I should have. I guess doing so directs all the plant's energy towards producing fruits rather than more leaves. I've never had more than half a dozen or so tomatoes from any one plant, so, we shall see how these tomato plants do. :)

  2. The garden is really coming along! That double colored rose is so pretty and so is the butterfly you captured. Your stone-scape idea is very popular here in areas by the beach. They use stone or shell instead of grass for entire yards. I have one side of my house like that for extra parking, but would like to do it all eventually so there's no more mowing to be done.

    1. Thank you, Martha. The double colored rose is one of my favorites. Stonescaping is quite popular, here, too, as a way to reduce water use.

  3. It's always lovely to see butterflies, especially in the garden. You did well to get a photograph.
    The avocado seedling is growing great. X

    1. Thank you, Jules. I enjoy seeing the butterflies and was happy I was able to photograph this one. I am hoping this avocado seedling will continue to grow. I had another one, a few years ago, which died when it got really cold (for us) one winter.

  4. Thank you for the photo of the cage for the tomatoes. I'll be growing bush tomatoes which don't need that sort of support, although I may need to get some net cages to keep wild birds and local cats away.

    I'm having a quiet day today. I've starting sorting through the bookcase but haven't got too far, and now I'm watching Sunday afternoon TV!

    1. You are welcome. :) I have planted an "Early Girl" tomato and a "Roma" tomato, both of which need support or staking.

      Glad to hear that you are having a restful Sunday. I'm taking it easy, myself. :)

  5. I would like to get some tomato cages. Last year was my best year growing tomatoes. They were a compact variety that I bought at Tractor Supply. What a stunning rose!

    1. Now is a good time to get them, I think. Do you recall the name of the variety you planted? I don't seem to have much luck growing tomatoes, but, maybe I don't water them enough!

      Thank you, the double colored rose is a favorite of mine. :)

  6. We have used the same cages for tomatoes and I also have some tall spiral stakes that work well for many different plants.
    I wonder if your swallowtail butterflies hang around all summer or if they fly north. We get a lot of them in Ontario and they love the wild honeysuckle bush and the lilac.

    1. I am hoping that having the proper cages will help with my tomatoes, this year! :)

      I'm not sure if the butterflies migrate up north. I notice them most during the spring.

  7. You have such a wonderful garden! I think the deer that come to mine would really enjoy all your goodies lol

    1. Thank you, Sharon. Oh, my! I wouldn't know what to do if any deer showed up in my garden! LOL!

  8. I love your stones. I think it's a very attractive (free) solution to a problem spot that now looks very pretty.
    The tomato cages will be a big help when your plants grow big and strong.

    Your avocado looks very healthy and nice. Someday we will be reading a post from you saying you just came in from picking a couple avocados and I will remember this day. :)

    1. Thank you, Debra. No doubt, now that I've put down the stones there, stuff will start growing! Isn't that how it usually works? :D

      M said there were only 3 tomato cages left at that particular nursery and he bought 2 of them! Apparently, they are popular items! I have high hopes for these two tomato plants! I hope they will do well.

      Oh, I do hope that I will be able to pick some avocados from my tree! If the summer sun doesn't burn it and the winters don't get cold enough for night frosts, it might grow big enough for fruits! If not, it's another "free" plant!

  9. Those cages look just the business! I grew tomatoes for the first time last year, as G had some surplus plants. I had to give away all the fruit as I can't eat it but it was fun to grow them.

    And I LOVE that butterfly! I have seen them in butterfly houses, but it must be lovely to have them flying wild!

    1. I am hoping the tomato cages will do what they are supposed to do! I've a few flowers on the tomato plants, already! I'm glad you enjoyed growing the tomato plants and I'm sure whoever you gave the fruit to appreciated receiving some homegrown tomatoes. :)

      I am slowly learning to identify the butterflies I see in my garden! I have since posted another picture of a different butterfly. :)


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