Thursday, April 01, 2010

The $100 tomato

Ah, 'tis spring, and a young (or any other age) gardener's fancy turns to tomatoes. Beautiful, red, just-picked tomatoes. Fresh from the garden. So many tomatoes you have to give them away.

Sigh. Alas, those days have been behind us since we gave up large bed gardening a few years ago. I've planted in the flower beds only to have less than stellar (as in no tomatoes) results.

But, not to be stumped--and of late failure is our middle name where vegetable gardening is concerned--we are trying again.

Try number 1: The Tomato Grow Bag. Offered by Gardener's Supply Co and only $13.50 each if you buy two or more (and why not?), we snagged these beauties in January. A couple weeks ago I got a garden-itch and scratched it with two tomato plants, one per bag. Did not realize that it would take over two 2-cu-ft bags of potting soil to fill them. They're about $10/per, give or take because I did buy the good stuff. So far, they look good. One is even blooming.

Try number 2: The Topsy-Turvy Bag. If we have difficulty growing them upright, why not try hanging from a plant hanger on the patio. Why not indeed? I already had the potting soil (see above). Bought a tomato plant, hardened it off next to the others and it's been looking fine. Until I went to plant it this morning and it was dried out. It went in anyway. And getting the Topsy full is no walk in the park. I had to hang it first! That meant a ladder. Up and down, up and down, filling it with soil. I dragged the hose over to water and will eventually get my nerve up and go see if the plant perked up.

Let's see: grow bags (plus shipping), Topsy, soil, plants: first tomato off the vine? Maybe only $80.

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