gardenchatter

Garden adventures and advice…


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Grow Potatoes in Bags!

Thought I would share my website link on “Growing Potatoes in Bags”. I have so much interest in this when I talk about it and a number of people have shared their success stories with me. It’s a method that works. And great for small gardens, patios or larger gardens that need the space for other veggies.

Use whatever potato grows well in your zone. Here in zone 5 I’ve used Russian Banana Fingerlings (shown on link below) and Russian Blue – this year I’m trying Yukon Gem.

Grow Potatoes in Bags

 

THIS……………………………………

 

TO THIS………………………………….                          Pot1


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Sprouting Brussels Sprouts

I’m going to be perfectly honest, as much as it pains me. Last year, for the first time ever, I decided to grow Brussels sprouts. In pots. About 6 plants per pot.

I can almost hear the collective chuckle from those of you that are familiar with or know how to grow Brussels.

Here’s a picture of one of my plants this year:

b1

It’s a good 3 feet high and almost as wide. So…imagine 6 of these in a pot. They didn’t survive beyond about 4 inches and didn’t even come close to sprouting sprouts. It was quite an aha moment for me when I toured the Royal Botanical Gardens last fall and saw how these interesting veggies should be grown.

Brussels like the cooler weather, so start them early, indoors, if you can. Six weeks or so before the last frost for your area. Plant the seedlings 12 to 24 inches apart (and not in pots) outdoors when the frost risk is over and give them plenty of water, fertilizer and sunshine. I had mine in the ground the first of June and am harvesting now.

Our summer here was extremely hot and dry (unusual for this area), so not the best climate for Brussels, but I certainly had more success this time and will definitely grow them again next year. The excess heat tends to stop the sprouts from forming a compact ball, l so I did end up with some unformed, loose leaves.

They mature from the bottom up along the stalk and as they reach about 1 inch in diameter are ready to harvest. Or you can wait and cut the entire stalk.

These actually look big and showy in the garden and are fun to grow.

However, I haven’t completely given up on my pot theory, but maybe I’ll try just one in a pot next year…

Brussels sprouts on one of my plants, and a full stalk from another cut down.


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Upside Down Tomato Planters

Have you ever tried those upside down tomato planters? I grew tomatoes in a couple last year for the first time and was quite impressed with how well they worked. We had an outstanding “upside down” tomato crop . I can’t help but think that the heat that built up in the bag contributed to the abundance of large, heathly tomatoes that grew. Tomatoes love the summer sun – and heat. However, with being in the bag, they do need water every day during the summer; the soil will dry out quickly.

These planters are great. You can hang them on a wall, fence, post, true plant hanger…anywhere that has good support (they get heavy) and plenty of sun. Upside down planters are also perfect for balcony gardens or anywhere that space is limited – or if using a Sheppard’s hook type of plant hanger, they will fit in any garden bed you have and not interfere with the plants growing down below.

I’ve picked up a few more and now have six for the upcoming tomato season. The tomato of choice for them this year? Tumbling Tom. It just seemed to make sense.

Tumbling Tom is recommended for hanging baskets and I believe it will be a top performer in an upside down planter. It has a compact, trailing growth habit that develops waves of sweet, juicy, bright red (or yellow) cherry tomatoes that keep coming all summer long. If you prefer growing tomatoes in containers, Tumbling Tom will work perfectly.

As of right now I have two flats of 1″ Tumbling Tom sprouts (just came up this week) growing in the greenhouse that I expect will look like the pictures at the bottom by August!  Stay tuned…..

topsy-turvy-tomato_2revolution-upside-down-tomato-planter-1

TOm 4tom 3