How to make compost in my Lifetime 80 gallon compost tumbler. The biggest challenge is finding the right combo with greens (nitrogen) and browns (carbon).
The life expectancy of a strawberry plant is usually only a few years. The plant knowing this is aware that it most have offspring. I’m not suggesting that plants are self aware, but this mechanism is built into its genetic code. That’s the way the plant works.
Container grown plants are unable to propagate themselves so they rely on us to help them.
Strawberries replicate by shoots, also called runners. It sends out these shoots looking for soil to plant itself. Once the runner takes root, it severs its ties to the parent plant. Leaving a separate independent plant.
To propagate the plant, just lay the runner on top of soil in another contain (or on the ground). Within a couple of weeks it should have taken root. You can then cut the runner away from the parent plant. You now have a new plant.
I needed a planter to grow herbs in. But the problem with some herbs like mint, they like to sprawl and take over the garden. They can become invasive if you let them. So the answer for me was to either grow them in pots or elevate them off the ground.
Since I have two grape arbors, I decided to hang them. This planter holds three plants and can be built with very little amount of wood. I used 1 piece of cedar fencing available at just about any lumber supply. The only other thing you will need is some 1/2” rope.
Drop a few pots into the square holes and you have a nice looking hanging herb planter.
I know what you’re thinking. “Where can I get the seeds for a square tomato”?
Believe it or not, you can grow your own square tomato from any seed you have lying around.
You’re not actually growing a genetically enhanced variety, you’re really just manipulating the tomato during its growing process.
The process is simple. You have to create a square plastic box for it to grow in. Make sure the box is smaller than final size of the tomato. The reason is that once the tomato feels resistance against the sides of the box, it is forced to take the path of least resistance. This results in the tomato growing into the corners of the box, hopefully filling it completely.
Making the box
Find any clear plastic that is thick enough to withstand the pressure of the growing tomato, yet flexible enough to bend at 90 degrees.
Simply draw 4 squares the exact same size horizontally
Now draw 2 boxes the same size on each side vertically.
Next, cut a slit in one of the end boxes big enough to allow the stem of the plant to easily slip through.
Now fold the box at the lines and tape it leaving the end with the slit open.
Slip the box onto a young tomato allowing the stem to slide through the slit in the open end.
Close the lid and tape it shut.
You now have a tomato enclosed in a plastic box.
Now the wait
This is the hardest part of all. If you’re like me, every morning you will run out to see if the tomato is growing. We all know that a watched pot never boils. It isn’t until you decide to stop watching, that it will balloon to the size of the box.
My mistake was in using this on a hybrid tomato that I was re-growing so the tomatoes never produced uniform sizes.
I recommend that you use a plant that produces consistent fruit sizes. It will be a lot easier. I had to try this 3 time before one actually behaved.
If by chance, you give this a try, post a comment and a link. I’d like to see them.
Happy square tomato growing.
Rooting tomato cuttings is easy. Take a new growth or a sucker cutting a few inches long. Put the cutting in an inch or two of water.
Within a week or two, you should see roots start to grow along the stem.
When you see plenty of roots growing, remove the cutting from the water and put in a soft seedling mix, burying it about half way.
Hypertufa is a wonderful alternative to concrete or commercial growing pots. They are easy to make and very affordable. If you’re looking for a pot to grow herbs or succulents, give hypertufa a try.
The recipe is simple and can be bought at just about any hardware store.
I found some 10 year old corn seeds. So I decided to see just what my germination rate would be. I wrapped them in wet paper towels and left them for a few days. This video is my result.
Keep track of your seed inventory with this spreadsheet. Don’t let your seeds get past their viability ever again. Download it to your mobile devices and take it with you wherever you go.
Storing seeds, particularly heirlooms, is a great way to save money and preserve our food heritage.
Download the spreadsheet here