Monday, August 18, 2008

Upside down tomatoes

I have been preparing for spring, planting tomatoes, silver beet etc. Our house guest, Jennifer, is from the U.S. state of Oregon and suggested that upside down tomatoes could work for me. They seem to be the latest fad in the states.

The idea is that some sort of receptacle; in my case an old hanging planter pot, has holes in the bottom and seedlings point down. The claimed advantages are that they do not need to be staked, creepy crawlies can't get at them and that the crop is at eye level. Sounds reasonable!
They aren't protected from fruit fly and other flying bugs.

I bought some Grosse Lisse seedlings and teased the foliage through the holes in the bottom, filled it with good compost and hung it on a roof gutter to see what would transpire. This morning the seedlings are recovering from the transplanting and rough handling. I am concerned for these tomatoes though. Nature has dictated that they should emerge from the soil and head towards the sun and I am turning their life upside down. Will the roots grow up instead of down?? Will they have a mental breakdown and turn into a vegie?

Old wheel barrows are good planters for the winter as they can be moved around to get the best sun. For the Silver Beet and Bok Choi the white cabbage moth is the enemy. My father used a badminton racquet to dispatch his cabbage moths.

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