Taking a break from writing...

 ...to mess around in the great outdoors....

My Upside Down Garden

I'm not much of a TV watcher, but I've been doing a little more of that lately and one thing that's caught my eye is something called the Topsy Turvy tomato planter. Last time I tried to grow tomatoes, squirrels and some kind of little worm shredded the plants, so I wondered if this off-the-ground garden might work for me. 

But with my track record, I didn't want to spend twenty bucks per planter. Soooo, I got online and found all sorts of do-it-yourself upside down planter instructions (I do love the Internet!) and decided to try my hand at upside down gardening on the cheap.

My planters are gallon ice cream buckets (I've been sticking them in the back of the cabinet for-ever -- always knew they'd come in handy for something!). They're smaller than the Topsy Turvy and some other homemade solutions (five-gallon hard plastic buckets, for example), which means I'll have to water and feed the plants more often.

But here's my first attempt, cobbled together Tuesday and Wednesday, April 20 and 21, 2010.

Below: My happy little ice cream bucket upside-down planters --  one missing a top. Various sites recommend keeping a top on the planter, to keep in moisture. Apparently these things can dry out pretty fast. Recommendations are to water once or twice a day, and feed the plants every couple of weeks.

Below. Big Boy tomato -- 78 days from transplant to harvest. Late June or early July, tomatoes on my table! Yum!


Below: Yellow crookneck squash. (Love cheesy squash!) Sixty-five days to harvest.

Below: Cucumber. Fifty-five days to harvest after transplanting. Ah, I can taste the cuke and tomato salad now!


Below. Another view of my upside down veggie garden. I knotted the plant hangers from clothesline -- it's made to take what the outdoors dishes out -- purchased at a big box store.

Below: The, um, gallows? I made it myself from two old fence posts and a somewhat curved two by four.

Below. My post hole diggers -- an old kitchen knife and a throw-away plastic container (purchased at Winn-Dixie full of macaroni salad or cole slaw). I recycle these containers but I've never used one as a substitute spade! (We used to have some for-real post-hole diggers, but I have no idea where they got off to.)

Below: Another tip found online. Make a "soaker" waterer out of an old gallon milk jug with pinholes punched in the bottom. Since my planters are "half-size" I'm using a half-gallon jug.

So there it is; my upside down veggie garden. Maybe this is just the beginning --peppers next? Beans and peas? Herbs growing out the top? We'll see how it goes.