Supporting Actors

KP and I bought these trellis’ last year at Home Depot to support my badly-placed tomato plants that went hog wild and yielded about 5 cherry tomatoes. Then Superstorm Sandy hit and two of these went down. I moved them, just in time for the graduation party and decided they should go to the garden out east. Inspired by this picture on my Pinterest board, I had the idea to recycle the storm damaged HD trellis and create lean-to’s like it.

leantotrellis Inspired by this picture, I had the idea to recycle the storm damaged HD trellis and create lean-to’s like it.

I read somewhere that carrot plants, like lettuces, like the filtered shade. With the red and yellow carrot seeds I ordered, it seemed like a good plan.

Tomato cages from are on their way to me. I looked high and low for advic


e. I

was persuaded to purchase the tomato cages by reading that one of long-time employees of swore by the tomato cages. We’ll find out here in August – October how they fare.

First, I sawed off the legs to shorten the panels. I bought some hardwood stakes at my local garden store and some jute. The panels look more solid than they really are; they’re made of some flimsy wood, but I love the framed look and would like to get a few more years out of them. Two of the sawed-off legs were in pretty good condition, so I hammered in 3 nails. I plan to wrap the jute around the nail and the top of the stake. This will give me some play in the angle of how the frame attaches to the panel.

After attaching the frame to the stakes with jute, I then attached the frame to the panel. It was an awkward process wrapping the jute, but the day was beautiful and sunny, and I convinced myself to chillax. Here are the panels attached to the leaning stakes with a bit of composted cow mixed into the soil.  Well, it ain’t pretty, but it should hold. The jute will also fade to a simile of natural jute. Don’t ask me why I just didn’t buy natural colored jute.


I used the jute to attach the frame to the panels, drove the stakes into the earth and gave them a couple of good pounds with KP’s mallet. Here are the panels in situ:


I put the bean seeds just under the panels so they can climb up, a divider of brick to keep the seeds separate, and then some short rows of carrot seeds. I’ll add mulch to line the front of the panel and around the side.

Towards the western edge of this extension, I added the last of the celery seeds, lime basil and regular basil. Here’s a view of the cleaned bed, with vegetable seeds in seed starter (so I can see the rows (!), and awaiting the tomato cages:


While it’s only a 40′ extension, digging always takes a lot of energy. I had to clear the pseudo-lawn out of the way. It’s been so dry in the NE, the grass and weeds peeled away like cheap carpeting. Because this is a new extension to the quadrant, I’ve been saving my kitchen scraps (fruit and veggie peelings only with egg shells) and taking them to the garden. This extension resides on a down-slope so every little bit of extra earthiness helps to built it up. After planting the two bean varieties, carrot seeds, and the remaining celery, lime basil and regular basil, I felt pretty proud. The tomato cages can go in the middle, between the two seeded areas.

But the next morning, I saw that raccoon varmints had gotten into the stinky kitchen scraps and complete obliterated my nice neat rows. At least it wasn’t deer! Note to self: Place a pile of compost that isn’t sited in the garden. This could turn out to be a happy accident with the two basils and celery growing haphazardly.

extension2 What a mess! Oh well. We’ll see what shakes out…