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|锘? I regularly receive the catalog from Gardener's Supply Company and have been watching http://www.nfldolphinsfansclub.com/Black-Friday-Dallas-Thomas-Jersey/ , with interest, the marketing of something called a Topsy Turvy planter. The idea behind this planter is that you grow vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers or squash in a planter that hangs from a hook. But the plant itself grows out the bottom.
I thought this was an intriguing idea and the copy in the catalog said that some of the benefits included not having to weed the garden, not having to worry about cutworms, and it's great for people who have very little space to garden but still love gardening nonetheless.
Now http://www.nfldolphinsfansclub.com/Black-Friday-Chris-Jones-Jersey/ , if you've followed my blog, articles, and have visited my web site you'll know that I'm all about saving money in the garden and looking good doing it. So I ordered a Topsy Turvy planter and it came last week. Just a word of caution, here. This planter is not meant for growing vegetables from seed. They must already be established plants.
And I have the perfect tomato plant to put in it: Burpee's latest variety called steak sandwich. Can't you just taste the juicy sweetness of a thick slab of tomato laid gently on a bed of lettuce and enveloped by a baguette? How about some fresh Wonder bread? Add some mayo, salt and pepper and you're in heaven.
Okay. I unpacked the box http://www.nfldolphinsfansclub.com/Black-Friday-Cameron-Wake-Jersey/ , looked at all of the parts and read the instructions. It looks to me like getting this planter ready was going to be a two-person job. And I was right. It took both my husband Matt and me to get the plant into the planter and add the soil.
What happens when you plant one of these is that you must feed the root ball of the plant up through a hole in the bottom of the planter. The hole isn't that big, either. I had to pull some soil and roots off and even then had to squeeze it up through the hole.
Once you have threaded your root ball through the bottom of the planter, you're given a circular piece both fairly stiff foam rubber, which has a slit cut in it from the middle down through one side. This piece of foam is used to hold the stem of your plant in place.
The reason this is a two-person job is that one person has to hold the root ball while the second person slides the foam circle into place down into the bottom of the planter and then starts to add soil up to the root ball. It's really are hard to do both jobs with just two hands. The last thing you want is for the root ball to fall over and break the stem.
I recommend using a potting mix that contains food and water retention crystals. I like Miracle-Gro potting mix for this application.
Once you have filled the planter with moistened soil up to the root ball -- about a third of the planter itself -- then you place another piece of foam rubber that has perforations in it down on top of the soil. After that, continue to fill moistened soil up to two thirds of the planter and place an identical piece of perforated foam rubber on top of that. Then you fill with more soil to within two inches of the top of the planter.
This two-inch mark is easy to see because the manufacturer has sewn a hem at the top of the planter that measures about two inches. Once you've filled the planter with soil http://www.nfldolphinsfansclub.com/Black-Friday-Byron-Maxwell-Jersey/ , replace the plastic cover and hang it from a sturdy pole or iron hook.
I don't recommend getting to the planter phase until you have put up the hook and pole where you're going to hang this planter. In our case, my husband used a piece of 2 x 4 that was 7 feet long, added a cross piece at the top to accommodate the hook, and put wooden braces in the corners between the two pieces of wood for extra stability.
The planter comes with a very heavy-duty J-hook as well as a good hanger off the top of the planter itself. Whoever thought about the design of this product did a very good job. Water and feeding are done through a hole in the top - at only 5 feet 2 inches, I need a stepstool to water and feed. In any case http://www.nfldolphinsfansclub.com/Black-Friday-Brandon-Doughty-Jersey/ , you'll want to hang it high enough so that the plant and fruit do not drag on the ground.
My tomato plant is now hanging from its hook and I'm keeping it watered every day. The instructions in the planter say it requires about a gallon of water every day -- which makes sense because the roots are hanging in direct sun in a way they wouldn't if planted in the ground. Also, I've noticed that the tomato plant has begun to curl up toward the sun, which is what you want it to do.
Although this planter is designed to hold two plants, I don't recommend it. It was hard enough getting one root ball stuffed into the bottom of the planter; trying to do another and slide it in next to the stem of the first plant just might break the stem of the first plant.
All in all, I'm looking forward to my first bite of steak sandwich tomato. I'll keep you posted on how much juice runs down my chin.
Author's Resource Box
Victoria Rosendahl is a freelance copywriter http://www.nfldolphinsfansclub.com/Black-Friday-Branden-Albert-Jersey/ , novelist, and passionate gardener. Visit her website, http:www.money-saving-garden-tips, for three FREE gifts and tons of great money saving ideas for your garden. You can also email her at victoria@money-saving-garden-tips.
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