Yesterday I was so excited to discover a couple of tiny grass-like spikes shooting up from the large bed where I sowed Strawberry popcorn. I had been watching the black beans germinate for a few days, and was happy to see the pickling cucumbers come up as well. But no popcorn. It is coming up after a week of fairly warm weather and a few days of rain, though. I have no expectations for this crop. If I get a few tiny ears of corn I will be happy. I honestly need the black beans and cucumbers much more. The popcorn will just be a treat if it works. I know virtually noting about growing corn having attempted it once about 9 years ago — I think we got 3 tiny ears of sweet corn. Then this past winter I saw Strawberry popcorn in a catalog and thought it looked so cute.
Who sows kale this late in the spring? I do. I have a shady spot in my garlic bed that was great for a long lettuce season last year. Why not kale, a cool weather crop? Dwarf Siberian kale was sown a few days ago and is already up. I took a picture but it was so boring I will spare you until the plants have some true leaves.
Now on to the exciting part: tomato grow bags. I found a company advertising and selling tomato grow bags with a wire cage inside providing support and structure for the bag. I attempted to reproduce that using grow bags that I sewed from landscape fabric. I created wire structure from welded wire. I discovered that with the wire cage inside the grow bag it was nearly impossible to add soil and in the future would be difficult to work with the plant. So I had some ideas, one of which was to leave the front partially open. But I really didn’t love this idea.
I thought about putting the structure inside the grow bag and removing some of the wire at intervals so I could reach my hand in easily, but I would need to file the wire left behind or I risked cutting and scratching myself every time I tried to work with the tomato plants.
I slept on the problem a few nights, planting was delayed anyway with the weather and fatigue. I woke up in the middle of the night a couple of nights ago with a solution that seemed like it would be perfect. Just fill the grow bag with soil, plant tomato, and then put wire structure on afterwards. It worked! It was so easy I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of it sooner.
Although it doesn’t give the grow bag quite as much support, it is sufficient. To work with the plant inside, I just open the support. The dimensions of my grow bags are 12″x12″x12″. A little on the small side but I think they will work just fine. Now to get the rest of my tomatoes planted.
Now for a little thinking outside the box. I have more plants than garden space right now. But do I? I decided to tuck plants into my flower beds, containers, anyplace I can find a little soil and sunlight. The greatest danger will be deer. I can’t fence in every little nook and cranny of planting space. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, I say.
Below is my driveway container garden with the very large oregano plants that need cutting back and dehydrating. There is a cute little trellis beside that container. Last year I grew purple green beans (which were disgusting to eat).
I planted a few black bean seeds behind the oregano so it can grow up that trellis.
So I have grow bags and containers for expanding my growing space. Happy gardening!