Santa (a.k.a. Mom) brought me a couple of beautiful orchids, which are now home on the patio:
My friend Reba sent me her leftover Heirloom Tomato seeds, four different kinds of Cherry Tomatoes: Black, Candy Striped, Sunburst, and Reibenstraub (old German reds)…which I started (late this year) in early November.
The Iguana Man made me four psuedo Earth Boxes, out of instructions found on the internet. The boxes are a closed system, watered into the bottom of the box where there is a reservoir, which wicks up into the pre-fertilized soil. Weedless, low water, and no maintenance as weeds can’t penetrate the soil covering. Easy peasy!!!
As you can see from the picture, the tomatoes are thriving, they seem to almost grow as I look at them. I placed them on the south side of my slat house, so they’d catch all of the good mid-day sun, and also for ease of making a trellis. I fashioned mine out of bamboo, and hung it from the slat house (everything I read on the internet indicated that the most difficult part of growing in Earth Box type containers was the staking of the plants).
I was so encouraged with this method of growing that Iguana Man is now making me a 4′ x 4′ above ground grow box, as I ordered some San Marzano tomato seeds (which are about 8″ tall now), and I also want to plant some Romas, as well as some big eating tomatoes, maybe Better Boys. They will be late, of course, but I should be able to grow them and reap a great crop through May or so, before it becomes too hot.
I’m going to try growing peppers in the Earth Boxes this spring after the tomatoes are done. I’ve never had luck with peppers of any sort (nematodes and too much/too little water, I think), so this will be an interesting experiment. So far, though, I’d have to say I recommend the Earth Boxes highly (and you can make your own for about $20 instead of buying them for too much $$$ ~ check out YouTube).
~ Blonde Gator