THE TOMATO RING – SUPPORTS MORE THAN JUST TOMATOES
The Tomato Ring is a great support for a variety of plants. Here are some ideas on other uses for the amazing Tomato Ring:
Peppers and Eggplants
The Tomato Ring is the ideal plant support for all types of pepper plants and eggplants, too! Just use a short
stake (about 3’) and one or two tomato rings. In our test garden, we use ¾” conduit, cutting a 10-ft. conduit into a 7-foot piece for tomatoes and using the 3-ft. piece for peppers, eggplants, etc. Regular peppers and most hot peppers will be fully supported with just one Tomato Ring. For taller hot pepper varieties (like Tabasco and Ghost peppers) and the occasional super-prolific eggplant plant will want a second ring.
Space-Saving Planting Tip: You can save garden space by planting most types of peppers and eggplants back-to-back, with one stake being shared by both plants and a Tomato Ring for each plant, facing opposite directions. To ensure that you get the plant placement right the first time, use the Tomato Ring as a template. On your prepared garden soil, lay a Tomato Ring down on the soil and press down. When you lift it up, you’ll have the impression of exactly where the Tomato Ring will be. Then using the same Tomato Ring, make the other impression facing the opposite direction, being sure to place the square clamp opening exactly on top of the impression of the clamp you just made. Once you see where your clamps will be, you can drive your stake into the ground right where the square opening is marked, then plant your two plants within the impression of the Tomato Ring oval, placing the plants toward the outer edge of that oval. Lastly, install your opposite-facing Tomato Rings and slide them down over your plants before tightening the screw to secure it to the stake. You can slide the Tomato Rings up as needed as your plants grow taller.
Zucchini and Squash
If you’ve always grown zucchini and squash sprawled across your garden bed, you’ll be amazed at how well they take to a little plant support. Suggested by one of our customers, the Tomato Ring turns out to be an awesome way to provide just the amount of off-the-ground support needed to give both zucchini and squash a smaller “footprint” in your garden. We even found that the dreaded squash bugs seemed to be a bit more easily managed with the leaves up off the soil.
Planting Tip: You’ll want to use two Tomato Rings and one of your shorter stakes for either a zucchini or squash plant, and you’ll need to install the Tomato Rings at the time you plant your bedding plant/seedling. The trick here is to install them quite close to the ground – maybe 3” from the soil surface. The bottom Ring will stay right there, but eventually you’ll be sliding the second Ring up as your plant begins to grow and expand. This is one of those times that you’ll want to keep a diligent eye on the growth of your plant. While it’s usually pretty easy to loosen and reposition the Tomato Ring on even a well-grown tomato plant, this is not the case with zucchini. You’ll want to begin to move that second Ring up before the zucchini plant gets too muscular to do so. And remember, we’re not going for “all tied up” – just lifted and supported enough that it’s a little more manageable to grow. Try it!
Sunflowers, with their big, beautiful heads, will often fall over and bloom face-down to the dirt without a little plant support. A stake and one Tomato Ring will keep them joyfully upright. Because their stems are sturdy, they usually fall over at their base, so a Tomato Ring is a great way to give them a bit of room to move with the breezes but keep them from collapsing. Use a tallish stake and position the Tomato Ring anywhere from midway up to a foot or two below the flower head.
Other Support-Loving Flowers
You can use a Tomato Ring and the stake of your choice for any type of flower that tends to flop over without a little plant support. Dinner plate dahlias, closely-planted gladiolas, even late-season basil will do best with a little help to stay upright, and the Tomato Ring is a great support for all of these and more.