Tomato Cage Extension, Bean Pole Support, and Other Country Lore

This installment of an ongoing country lore feature includes tips on extending tomato cages and supporting bean poles.

| August/September 1998

  • 168-country-lore-01-climbing-bean.jpg
    The wire used in wood slat snow fences also works well as overhead support for bean poles.
  • 168-country-lore-02-tomato-cage.jpg
    Use 3/4"  x 3/4" stock (bamboo is good) and adjust size as needed to extend a tomato cage.

  • 168-country-lore-01-climbing-bean.jpg
  • 168-country-lore-02-tomato-cage.jpg

The following housekeeping tips and other bits of country lore were submitted by readers. 

Tomato Cage Extension

Every year, my tomatoes grow over the top of their cages. This year, I came up with an idea you might like to use as a garden tip. We use two to three extensions per cage.

—Randy N. Jones
Michigan City, IN

Bean Pole Support

The type of wire I associate with snow fences and sand erosion fences—two strands of wire twisted together with spaces for slats—is very useful in the bean patch. I made a frame overhead on which I fastened a length of this wire. Now I can just quickly stick my bean poles up through the slat space and rest the bottom ends on the ground. The poles stay right there, so the plants can easily find them and climb skyward. At season's end, I can easily remove the poles for storage and to allow room for re-working the soil for next year.

—Lew Rishel
San Diego, CA

Household Hints

After washing baseball, tennis, or golf caps, the best way to dry or shape them is to position them over a partially inflated balloon. Then inflate the balloon until the cap is stretched tight across it. Tie the balloon shut and let the cap dry.


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