Sunday, June 15, 2008

Coming Soon! Garden Experiment Growing Season 2008:

This season a journey into semi-hyrdoponics with GROW BAGS and self-crafted drip system.  

The Amazing Upside Down Tomato Experiment

Last season, I had wanted to try to get as many tomatoes into my garden as possible...I'd seen the upside down tomato planters and thought:  Hey I can do that.  Those puppies are expensive.  Mine came in just under ten bucks each for all materials, including soil.  The advantage to the ones I created is that they can be used for years.
3-5 gallon paint buckets with handles.
Doorknob drill attachment for your hand drill.
Coffee filter.
Good organic soil.
Tomato.   I found that the small cherry sizes did better than the larger varieties.

Just drill a hole in the bottom of the bucket, lay it on its side, and carefully place the tomato through the hole.  You cold use the coffee filter with a slit cut into it to cover the hole a bit prior to sticking the soil in.  I found that it helped keep the tomato in place through the first few waterings.  
Place the soil into the buckets and tamp carefully around the roots.  I had to keep spinning the thing on its side in order to keep the soil from squashing the root ball.  
Hang it up on a hook arm and keep it watered.  
I made about eight of these, and all produced  good, disease free tomatoes.  
Two of them have even survived through the winter and are now, in 2008 June, producing tomatoes again!  Amazingly simple project....

Old Bed Made Into Garden Bench.

For some years, I'd been moving around my old iron canopy bed.  I tried to sell it, tried to give it away, tried tried tried.  I was moving the darned thing in the studio for the final time when I decided to try to make some kind of garden art out of it.  Initially, I thought a nice trellis for climbing beans would be good, but the rails here aren't long enough... I was on line doing a search of potential garden art and came across the wonderful Robojunker site.  It was inspirational, to say the very least.
So, this girl got out her pipe cutters, drill, saw, and drawing pencils and got to work.  
I cut the footboard in half and flipped it over to make the two ends, attached some discarded lumber with the drill and wood screws.  The dark wood in the back is from an old piano that came with the house.  That piano got torn apart, as I could find no one to buy it, and couldn't move it.  I kept all of the wonderful old wood that came off of it, and used a piece of it here to attache the back (the old headboard) to the seat and side rails.  I had a piece of lumber cut to size and then used deck joist material to secure the pieces together from underneath.  Home Depot sells ready made turned legs, so I picked up a couple, and it was very simple to attach them to the base.  They just sort of screw in to some groovy little metal holders and voila!  Bench!  The last step was to sand and stain the bench, and the last LAST step will be to sew a nice cushion for it.  I found some good outdoor fabric, so I'm hoping it'll all hang together a few seasons in the rain.  This project took, in all, about four days of one person labor to complete.