Now that the family 'padrino', my father-in-law, has seen and complimented our efforts in the garden, the first thing that he wanted to give me were some ties for our tomato plants. Yes, the assortment of tomatoes that I started from seed are all producing flowers and fruit! If they continue in their natural stages of development without interference from the dogs, I should have a lot of pomodoro "firsts" in this part of Italy.
But getting back to those ties... My father-in-law gave us a little bag which contained these curious cloth rings. He recycles old socks by cutting the calf part into bands (I'm guessing about 3/4 inch or 2 cm) and puts them through the washer to achieve these end results. All that's left to do is to snip the soft ring and voila! Instant tomato bush ties that allow for the stem to expand with no risk of harming the plant. Added plus, the uncut rings also doubles as a quick ponytail holder when I'm working in the garden!