I tied a bunch of nylon stockings to my tomatoes and I think Benjamin Franklin would be proud.
No, no, this has *nothing* to do with the time he spent in Paris and everything to do with the time he spent in Philly. On science. Specifically, electrical science, i.e. lightning storms. While I myself won’t go anywhere near actual lightning (see earlier scaredy cat post here), I read something recently about it’s baby brother, static electricity, that inspired me to wield old hosiery in new, hopefully fruitful, ways.
In her handy guide “Carrots Love Tomatoes: Secrets of Companion Planting for Successful Gardening”, Louise Riotte included some veggie gardening lore that goes beyond simple crop rotation. The chapter on soil improvement, for example, contains Riotte’s description of the fertilizing contributions of rain and lightning. “Each time lightning strikes the earth,” she explained, “large amounts of nitrogen are charged into the ground.”
Of course, no one wants to attract real lightning (yikes!) but you can take advantage of ordinary static electricity, she suggested, by tying tomato plants to metal trellises using strips of nylon hosiery. Since our tomato cages (like most) happen to be metal and since I haven’t worn that old pantyhose since Y2K, our soon-to-be fruiting vines were in luck. Have no clue whether the plants will truly benefit but now we have a scientific explanation for why I hate itchy leg coverings so much.
Wait! I’ve got an idea! How about an energy grid charged with the voluntary electrocultural power of free-range cats wearing little pairs of pantyhose?
Just a suggestion.
Franklin Institute (they’ve got Ben’s original lightning rod in their collection!)
Copyright 2014, Lori Fontanes
Cool! I hope it works. I love your idea of electricity-generating-pantyhose-wearing-free-range cats 🙂 I dream of having a food truck that runs on cow poop. The cats could power the lights. Your tomatoes look great!
Great minds dream alike! 😉 PS, those were last year’s tomatoes but stay tuned for updates with this year’s coming soon!!! 🙂
🙂 I’ll keep an eye out for this year’s crop.
U & the squirrels! 😉
It will be interesting to see if it works. I knew that lightning fixed nitrogen in the soil, but had never heard about static electricity doing the same.
Who knows, right? My tomatoes are doing out-of-control well this year but I think that’s as much a product of weather/luck/appropriate fertilizer as anything else. Not that I’m complaining… 😉
Pantyhose wearing, free range cats. That person will certainly have plenty of scratches, and the cat will still be pantyhose free. 🙂
Right. The trick is to talk the cats into putting on their own pantyhose. Wait. I think I see the problem now…
Yet another use for old nylons…..
It’s like cider vinegar and duct tape!
Yup. And zip-ties. Watch for my upcoming tribute to the lowly cable tie for its many garden uses. Coming soon! 🙂
I used cages this year and the tomato plants are huge!
Nylons, no nylons?
Oh, I used nylons on my roses–but then I killed them with bleach. UGH.
interesting, but I have not seen nylons in my house in years!!! Hate those things, but interesting what you can generate-tee hee…
I know, right? I had to dig out some I had in a shoebox in the linen closet (have no idea why I kept them except I hated to throw out something practically brand new!) And, voila, frugality paid off in…tomatoes!!! 🙂
lol..too funny:-) you always make me laugh!
Yay! It’s working!!! 🙂
I’ve used nylons as tomato hammocks as well too keep they really big monsters from bending the plant too much as they ripen! And now I’m aware of the extra benefit of adding nitrogen to the soil? Score! 🙂
Oooh! Another great idea! Gotta go grab some more old pantyhose now!!!