Thursday, May 22, 2014

Taming the Tomatillo - Bamboo Trellis

Tomatillo spreading.
Around here, we love green salsa. My husband is a fabulous cook and his enchiladas suizas are just amazing. And there's nothing like fresh tomatillos to make a great chili verde.

Tomatillos are easy to grow here in my Los Angeles area garden. The problem is they get out of control. Fast. One day the plant looks robust, then suddenly it's taking over. I had to do something or my poor peppers and cucumbers would be stifled.

Being indecisive about what type of support to make, I mulled it over in my head. A couple of weeks went by and the rogue plants kept creeping over the cucumbers toward the tomatoes. Today was the day I had to do something.

I had 3 bamboo poles purchased previously at a garden center, but that didn't seem like it would be enough support.

Luckily I have some bamboo planted in pots along a fence. And as it turns out, bamboo needs occasional fertilizer to thrive in tubs. Mine are a bit deprived, so today there were plenty of dead stalks for the taking.

Originally I thought I would break off the side branches to make nice smooth bamboo poles like the ones I bought. Wrong. That stuff is tough. It doesn't break or cut easily.

Then it occurred to me to just stick it in the ground as is.


Worked like a charm. All those little side branches hold the vines beautifully. Why didn't I think of that before? They are the perfect little trellis makers, and they are right in front of me.

Sometimes the most obvious things are the hardest things to see.

So much to discover. And now my cucumbers can see the light too.

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