Growing Cucumbers with Tomato Ladders
This year I decided to use some of my tomato ladders
for growing cucumbers. I put them in the ground as the cucumbers started growing and they started growing up the ladders in a great way. Then I added 2 more ladders and now I have this massive growth of cucumbers off the ground. You can barely see the tomato ladders anymore. It is great! The cukes just hang from the vine waiting to be picked. This has saved lots of space in my garden. See my previous post for more info about the tomato ladders and other pictures.
Tomato cages have always given me some problems for supporting my tomatoes. The tomatoes easily grow too tall for them, most of the cages are not very strong and they are hard to store. Gardeners.com has come up with a new approach called tomato ladders which are attractive and compact, conserving space in the garden. You can buy them from Gardeners Supply.
Tomato Ladders Can Be Used for Peppers, Eggplants and Cucumbers
I use tomato ladders for peppers, eggplants and cucumbers also. They are strongly made, easy to push into the dirt, can grow with the plant by adding more sections and provide great support. You have to train the plant as it grows to stay in the middle of the support which is easy to do. I am so excited about how my cucumbers are growing, right up the ladders. I put a few together to provide a trellis type support. So my cucumbers are growing up instead of all over the ground, also saving space. I have never had such beautiful cucumbers!
Tomato Ladders Are Easy to Store!
After gardening season is over, these tomato ladders nest within each other so that they don’t take up so much room. They can also be pulled apart after tomato season. They are very well constructed so that they will last for years and years making them a good gardening investment.
Other blog posts about tomato ladders:
- Growing cucumbers with tomato supports.
- Cucumber trellis alternative.
Every once in a while I see an example of natural garden pest control in my garden. Here is a tobacco hornworm on my tomato plants. My plants were never infested with them, I would only find one. So I would just remove it with no damage done. This year I found one that was covered with wasp eggs. Nature was doing its own pest control. I was shocked when I found it because it is a striking image.
Tobacco Hornworms are very similar to Tomato Hornworms
There is also a tomato hornworm that looks very similar to the tobacco hornworm. There is some confusion with pictures on the internet as to which is which. Whereas the tomato hornworm has eight v-shaped lines along its back and black horns; the tobacco hornworm has seven diagonal lines and red horns. This hornworm has been parasitized by the Braconidae wasp larvae. If you find one with the wasp eggs on it, leave it is your garden. The wasp larvae are feeding on the inside of the hornworm and will eventually hatch into wasps which are good pest managers. So it is great to have them around your garden as you can see from this picture! They took care of this hornworm so I didn’t have to deal with it!