Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Dirt on My Tomatoes

After my post yesterday lamenting my gardening-ravaged hands a friend asked me to add a picture of the tomato containers I had been building, and because it's a quiet week in Lake Woebegone, here they are! Fancy, no?

I estimate that each of these containers cost approximately $1 gabillion to construct, but divided by the number of tomatoes I expect to harvest from the four plants, that breaks down to a mere $2 gabillion per tomato. (My confidence in my gardening skills is underwhelming, but well-deserved.) But the system claims to be self-feeding and practically self-watering even during a Kansas summer, and that sounded perfect for my let's-go-camping-and-leave-the-garden-to-suffocate dreams.

See that PCV pipe sticking out of the corner? It goes down to a reservoir in the bottom of the outer container, which holds water that is wicked through a basket of grow medium into the inner container--okay, so I can't explain it. It's gardening magic.

Anyway, the instructions for the Earthtainer system seemed fairly easy, so I dove in. I was right--it was easy to build these except that the required Rubbermaid containers are no longer manufactured, and the wicking baskets must be ordered online, and it turns out a saber saw doesn't cut a Rubbermaid container very well, and wait! don't trim that edge so close or it will pull out from under the top, and hey! this thing weighs about eight tons when fully loaded and who is going to help me move it out of the garage?

I am nothing if not persistent, though, and with a few (I hope) reasonable substitutions of materials, I am now growing tomatoes!

No, not in the Earthtainers, in the pre-fabricated patio version Husband saw at WalMart while we were buying our plants, and suggested we purchase as a companion and comparison to the gold-plated fruits that will soon be overflowing our backyards.

The companion plant already has tennis-ball-sized tomatoes set on. It cost $10.


Well, wash out your mind with this:

An herb garden in a turquoise wheelbarrow! If you think Husband did not roll his eyes when I insisted on paying good U.S. currency for this wheelbarrow at a garage sale, you do not know Husband at all.

And with this:

Our Dog Pepper, back from the nearly-dearly-departed, and checking out the additions to her backyard.

Even Pepper can't wait: Let the BLT season begin.

1 comment:

  1. You must be sure to give us updates on the tomatoes. Your earthtainers tomatoes (and the control group tomato) sound so yummy!