Clay Tomato Spiral Supports –
I have a love-hate relationship with my apartment, lucky readers,
because I love that I don’t have room to accumulate junk, and I also hate that I don’t have room to accumulate junk. This became a problem when my little tomato plants finally started taking off. I don’t have room to buy tomato cages! and I hate the idea of throwing such a thing away after the season is over…but my plants were actually unrooting themselves, so I had to do something.
Then one day I was walking to the park and saw these adorable, colorful tomato spirals in front of an equally adorable house, in which most certainly lives a real green thumb…and I thought, “why can’t I make one of these???!” So much easier to store, and not a big metal eye-sore. Also I love any excuse I get to go to Ace Hardware and to Michaels, so there’s that….
DISCLAIMER: This post is most definitely designed for small 1-pot gardeners like myself. I would not recommend these for anything other than cherry tomatoes or other tiny, indeterminate varieties – you’ll definitely want something stronger for anything heavier or bushier.
I just needed a sufficient guide for my plants to cling to so that they wouldn’t hang over the edge, and I was able to do it for about $5 a piece, so I thought I’d share!
Let me know how it works for you, fellow tomato enthusiasts! Pictures welcome!
Clay Tomato Spiral Supports How- To
16 Gauge Galvanized Steel Wire
2 – 4oz packages oven bake clay
Step 1 –
Uncoil 15-17 loops of wire (You should be able to stretch this to about 3 to 3.5 feet without compromising the structure too much), use wire cutters or good old fatigue (think bending a paper clip back and forth) to cut
Shape your spiral:
Straighten about 12″ on one end – this will be the end you stake into the soil
Gently adjust the coils so that those closest to the straight end are the largest, and get progressively smaller until you get to the top coils
Lengthen the coiled wire to a height of about 3 to 3.5 feet
take a small section of clay and roll it into a long slim cylinder about 1/4″ to 1/2″ thick (thicker clay will lead to a firmer, more supportive spiral), and push a segment of the wire into the middle, starting at the tip
Continue this process until you have covered the entire spiral in wire, except for the bottom coil and the stake portion
Bake the entire coil per package directions (15 minutes per 1/4″ thickness at 275˚C)
firmly plant stake/bottom coil at the base of your tomatoes. My tomatoes cling to these tomato spiral supports – I hope this works just as well for you!