dawn (ixchel55) wrote in patio_gardens,

Bondage! A gardener's tale.

I'm becoming quite the expert in plant bondage. Velcro plant ties, zip strips, bungee cords and now strips of muslin. I swear, next year - tomato cages! I don't care how much trouble I have storing them when they're not in use, I'll find somewhere.

Some have suggested the hinged ones that can lay flat; doing a little cosmetic surgery on them to form them into a triangle. I'll have to look into that, see if it's feasible and how big the end product would be - whether they would fit in the pots. OTOH, the more common conical cages do stack inside one another and only take up maybe 2 ft in diameter of floor space.

They may not look that appealing, but it's better than wondering how my tomato and pepper plants are going to fare when the wind starts whipping up. Plus I won't have to worry so much about upper limbs breaking when they're heavy with fruit or how I'm going to harvest those tomatoes hanging 3 feet out into open space, 3 stories above ground. O: Not that I'm complaining too much mind, I'm just thrilled I'm having so much success with the fruit setting on.

This year I restrained myself on the diversity of my plants. It only looks so bushy and lush because I bought a big box of petunias and other flowers on a whim whem they went down to half price. But I still wound up with 3 different tomato plants, 2 Anaheim peppers and 2 basil.

Next year, only 2 tomatoes, and one basil (I'm going to try to grow basil inside this winter so I won't be so starved for pesto come summer time). I'm going to try zucchini and/or a cucumber. Round ones! Ronde de nice or Eightball zucchini and Lemon (round yellow not flavored) cukes! I love growing unusual things. A couple of years ago it was Tri-color peppers - variegated purple, cream and green foliage with small, hot purple peppers that turn red when ripe. Beautiful!

And BTW? If you all don't know about Container Seeds do take a look through. They don't have a huge variety but they've been picked because they grow especially well in containers. They even have quite a few items like this Red Robin Tomato that stay small and are bred for their ability to set fruit in lower light conditions. I'm going to try these indoors this winter, too.

And for those of you who want more variety to choose from than the same old varieties supplied by your local greenhouse but can't afford to spend $2-3 for a packet of seeds that you'll only use 2-3 out of? Try Le Jardin du Gourmet. They offer sample packets of usually 3-10 seeds (depends on the vegetable, herbs, etc) for only 35 cents apiece. Great deal! You can try all sorts of things you never could have before because they were just too expensive. I got all kinds of different greens (mache, arugula, red and green shizo, different spinach types, etc.) plus herbs and a few vegetables.

I love sample packets!

Now, with this hot weather (summer has finally descended) I need to water my garden 2-3 times a day. It's a demanding mistress. But worth it.
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