Well I haven’t gotten much done that’s visible to the Internet today.
I went over to my mom’s house with a gallon of water mixed with hydrated lime for the tomato plants I got for her. It’s kind of sweet – she still treats them like they’re in a regular planter. I’ve explained a few times that the water reservoir allows it to go for a really long time between watering, but she just doesn’t feel comfortable leaving it alone that long. Oh well, no harm done.
In case you’re thinking of building one like I explained before, here’s a nice plug: My mom filled it yesterday and when I went to put the hydrated lime water in today it took less than a cup of water to top it off. Granted, these plants aren’t very big just yet, but that’s a single cup of water used in one day in a planter that holds 18 gallons of water/soil. Not as efficient as hydroponics, but that’s phenomenal for soil.
Oh, and another thing – there’s been ZERO sign of transplant shock. I could try to guess what I did to accomplish that, but it’d be speculation. I’m just going to call it luck.
Coming up soon (I hope) will be a short piece on building an upside-down planter from discarded 2L bottles. If you’re in a hurry you can look it up online – there’s a number of explanations out there on how to do it. As usual I’ve got some ideas for modifying what I’ve seen that ought to make things a bit easier.
I mentioned all this to the guy (Tim) who writes Gabriola Garden and he told me that apparently the people who make the commercial upside-down planters so drastically underestimated the demand for them that they’re all back-ordered for a month or more. He had a suggestion for building one out of a bucket that sounds pretty cool too, so I might try that. Maybe he’ll do the “How To” on his blog. If not, maybe I’ll get a chance to do one here.
Other than that I’ve just been fretting over my seedlings and cackling with glee at the signs of success. Looks like once my new hydroponics equipment is ready I’ll have exactly the plants I want, ready to go. I have a couple Jiffy starters inside 2L bottles that I’d given up on (I have tones of empty 2L’s so I use them for everything just to keep them out of landfill). But just in case they were slow I left them sitting next to the heater. This morning I noticed one of them poking up through the soil, but I forgot to label which was which. It’s either a cherry tomato plant or a green pepper plant. I’m hoping it’s the tomato, since that’ll keep my upside-down planter project perfectly on track.
OH! And my mystery seed sprouted and is looking mighty vigorous. It’s got the fattest stem and biggest starter leaves of anything that’s come up so far. With any luck I’ll have some true leaves in a few days and I can start trying to figure out what it is. Which reminds me… I need to get a pot for that one.