Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Tomato Bag Success!

As you know, I don't have a garden this year.  But that little bit of misery transpired after I had already purchased my plants and planted my seeds.  So I was left with a table full of seedlings that had no where to go.

Now, there are some I'm not as concerned about.  Like the brussel sprouts I accidentally bought instead of broccoli.  Those will make yummy treats for the chickens.  I even lost the few tomato plants I planted behind the asparagus row.  Those went first to the deer, then to the bobcat.  The bobcat also took out my asparagus, but left me the promise of replacing them next year.

I do still have my gourds, and one of the Medium Martins had it's first flower open last night.  

I gave up on my sandwich and canning tomatoes, but I refuse not to have grape and cherry tomatoes.  So, I used the credit I had from a garden supply company (for sending me moldy and dying plants a year after I ordered them) to get four tomato bags.  

You may have heard of these.  Essentially they are square canvas bags used for creating flourishing container gardens.  The water will run out through the material if there's too much, so over-watering isn't possible.  At the end of the season, you can rinse them out, let them dry, and store them flat.  So they take up very little space over the winter.  Mine are 15-gallon bags, and each one required a 64-dry quart bag of potting soil.  

I had four grape tomato plants that I had purchased.  They were struggling in their little starter cups, clinging to life with roots bigger then the space provided.  I put two plants in each of two bags.

You can see how spindly and bare they are.

The cherry plants I have were those I grew from seeds I had saved last year.  I could bare to watch them wither and die.  There were nine, and I saved each one.  A few were growing too close together to separate, so they remained neighbors.

I put four in one bag and five in the other.

I added Tomatoes Alive! fertilizer around each plant and watered them until it ran through the sides of the bags.

A week later, and my cherries looked like this:

It's now been about two weeks, and the plants are thriving.  They needed staking, and they have flowers.  There are even some tiny cherry tomatoes forming.  

(Note: I did NOT use tomato cages to stake them in the bags for fear of ripping the fabric.  Instead I used wooden stakes and wrapped twine around them, making sure the plants war supported where they needed to be.)

Grape Tomatoes after 2 weeks
Cherry Tomatoes after 2 weeks

Cherry Tomatoes after 2 weeks

Cherry Tomato Flowers and Fruit

 As a side note, Chamomile is a tenacious weed.  It will grow anywhere.  It's growing out of the bottom of the grape tomato bags.  They are neighbors.  But I also have it growing under the deck and in pots it's never been near.  The seeds are so tiny and light, you see.  When the wind blows, they just float away.  No poof balls needed.  

Chamomile growing out of tomato bag

 Have you had success with growing bags or container gardens?

This post is part of the Clever Chicks Blog Hop!

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