It’s official! Ya’ll forced me into this week’s email tip courtesy of the on-air questions that surfaced this past weekend, coupled with all the follow up questions via email regarding "Growing Tomatoes Upside Down."
And I’m going to provide you with as many different links to places you can learn how to "do-it-yourself" and places that have the whole kit ready for action.
All I ask in return, if you do indeed try this technique this year based on this email, is that you give me and other GardenLine listeners some periodic updates.
First, while I love the idea of growing tomatoes upside down, I’ll be honest and tell you that I’ve never personally tried it. But in a moment, you’ll come to understand exactly why I think this is such a great idea.
This may be the ultimate "thinking outside of the box" theory in vegetable gardening, unless you’re sort of familiar with the concepts of hydroponics. The benefits specifically in growing conditions make one wonder why this isn’t the normal way of growing tomatoes. First, the air can circulate better so plants have almost no disease problems. Second, the fruit doesn’t rot as quickly as those closer to the ground. Finally, many of the ruinous critters (both insect, mammalian and aviary) have trouble getting to the ripening fruit.
Then, you can add to the list of benefits that you never have to cage, stake or weed your tomato plants ever again. Plus, if you employ other factors like consistent care and blocking the late afternoon sun later this spring and early summer, you can actually extend the life of these tomatoes. Plus, you can get started now, instead of thinking that it’s already too late, which is actually the case for many tomatoes that need to go into the ground no later than March 15th. And if it doesn’t go without saying:
• You don’t have to dig holes anymore
• You don’t have to bend over working the soil
• No chance of nematode damage
• Eliminates any chance of blossom end rot with consistent watering
• Watering only takes seconds
• You feed them every time you water them
• Perfect for patios and small spaces
• Makes it downright fun and interesting
Here’s the kind of "hand-slap-to-the-forehead" brilliance: It all starts with one of the basic elements that every garage has at least one of, or that can be had for little money – A 5-Gallon Bucket! Unless, you buy the pre-fabricated containers as seen in the Topsy Turvy Tomato System or the Hi-Tech kind found from Hammecher Schlemmer.
But, to get you started if you have such a bucket, and if you are in the "do-it-yourself" mode, here are the three best sites I’ve found to walk you through the procedure. The first is linked courtesy of the U.S. Botanical Gardens, just so you don’t think this is way to far out there in left field.
• Link 1
• Link 2
• Link 3
Lastly, here are some other sites as recommended by listeners this past weekend, mostly affiliated with catalogue type websites related to gardening.
• Link 1
• Link 2
• Link 3
Until next issue, here's to Great Gardening from the GardenLine, heard exclusively, 6-10 a.m. Saturdays and 7-10 a.m. Sundays, only on NewsRadio 740 KTRH.
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