Vegetable Gardening

Updated on June 24, 2011
B.D. asks from Pittsburgh, PA
4 answers

Okay I am a COMPLETE novice so bear with me...

I have a roma tomato plant that I did not realize needed staked. It is taking over and crowding out everything. I know I should probably stake it or use a cage but how do I do that this late in the game without harming the plant or the others around it?

I grew some lettuce from seed. I assume that once it matures enough you cut it off and eat it but my question is at that point is the plant done producing and you need to plant more seeds or does it continue to grow? (complete novice I know!)

We have had a handful of beans from our bean plants. Will they continue to produce all summer long? Would I have to plant in great volume to get enough for a family of four's meal?

Thanks for your help!

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answers from Los Angeles on

Go to Home Depot to their cement and rebar department. They have wire mesh that is supposed to re-inforce cement walkways when they are put in. The wire has 6" squares, is 4' tall and, I think, 6' long. Bring the two ends together and tie the ends together with string so you have a 4' tall cylinder. The 6" squares allow you to reach through and pick your tomatoes.

Place the cylinder over the top of the tomato plant. Gently bend the stems to the inside of the cylinder and bring them up the inside of the wire cage and tie them in place. I use plastic grocery bags for plant ties. (I fold the bag flat, the I use a pair of scissors to cut across the bottom of the bag in 1' wide strips. They do the job and biodegrade in the sun by the beginning of the next planting season.)

Lettuce: Read the back of the seed packet. It will tell you how long it takes for the lettuce to be ready for harvest. You know how many heads of lettuce you need each week. Plant twice that many seeds.

If the beans keep flowering, they will keep producing. If they quit flowering, they will quit producing. Swiss chard produces all summer long. Tomatoes that are labeled "inderterminite" will produce until the first frost.

Get the Ortho book, "All About Vegetables" and the book, "Square Foot Gardening". I don't like the gardening books by Sunsett (not enough info).

Good luck to you and yours.

P.S. My tomatoes are just starting to turn color. They should be ripe in another week, maybe two.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

we are starting our garden too. You do need to stake your tomatoes but in can be up a fence or in a cage. We did find out that the plant needs to be trimmed so sunlight can get inside to sprout and ripen the fruit. trimming may help you get a cage on it or get it to go up a fence or something. we should be harvesting our firsts anyday now. for the lettuce we are not growing that but I think that it is like herbs. You can remove the whole plant then there will be no more or you can just remove the leaves you need and the plant will replenish. I am not 100% on that but I am pretty sure.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

There must be about 100 ways to stake/cage tomatoes.
I like the Texas tomato cages, but they take a lot of space and I'm not sure you'd want to get one for a single tomato plant.
Try looking here:
You might be able to use some string to gently gather your tomato plant together a bit, then slip a tomato cage over it and then untie the string.
What I like about collapsible cages are they store flat in the garage over winter.
They also have a great 'How To' section with articles about growing various veggies:,defaul...
Hope this helps!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

The lettuce will regrow once you cut it. No need to reseed. The beans should produce all season - mine always have. You should be able to stake the tomato plant eaier than caging it if it is really big, just carefully put the stake next to the main stem and tie that part to the stake - you should be just fine. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

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