Vermont School Garden

A visit to a Vermont public school garden through the seasons.

Suckering and staking Tomatoes

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Our 65 donated tomato plants are flourishing. The  tiny new tomatoes, snuggled under leaves and vines are looking for sunlight and air. I went out on my own to begin the process of suckering a few of them, armed with  elementary school scissors. Tomatoes are naturally  vining crops. If you have the space and the patience, you can just let them vine out and spread all over the garden. My preference is to cut back all unnecessary branches (suckers) on each plant and to select a few strong ones to tie to a stake. The school scissors lasted for about five minutes before cracking in half!

I went to my local Agway and found the tools I was looking for. There were a variety of products available for attaching tomato vines to stakes at Agway. Some were labeled, “hazardous.” Some were twist ties with wire in them. I chose Eaton Brothers natural jute twine. I wanted the greenest and safest product for our organic garden. I also chose a set of heavy duty clippers for suckering.
By far the most important treasure I brought away from Agway was my chance encounter with a Westminster School parent and her daughter who just happened to be shopping there at the same time that I was. When I told them about our 65 tomato plants, they said they’d meet me at the garden to help out. We had such a good time getting to know each other the next day. I found two true garden friends. They promised to come back and help some more later in the week.

 

 

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Author: vermontschoolgarden

I have been an elementary teacher at the Westminster Center School for 30 years. For most of those years, I maintained a garden as part of my teaching curriculum resource. Now I am the Garden Coordinator for all of the Westminster Center School classrooms.

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