The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Training tomatoes

Pruned tomatoIf you ask ten gardeners the best way to manage tomatoes, you'll get twenty answers.  We've tried out a different method every year, and still haven't found one we're truly happy with.  This year we're using out the old standby --- one stake per plant, then prune to three main stems.

The Master Gardeners of Santa Clara County have a very comprehensive page about the advantages and disadvantages of different tomato support methods.  They note that the one stake method results in less productive plants, which is the reason I've steered clear of pruning in the past.

On the other hand, the tomato blight is still in the air this year across the eastern U.S., and I'm willing to accept a lower yield if I actually get something.  Pruning does have the advantage of keeping the plant drier, which means that fungi don't have the humid environment they need to thrive.  Here's hoping that drastic pruning and other blight prevention will give us a crop.

Our homemade chicken waterer keeps day old chicks healthy and hydrated.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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