Monday, June 21, 2010

Embracing Gravity

In May, we hosted a Mother's Day grill-out at our house with Justin's extended family. Can you believe it was their first time coming to our home? You all know that I'm not a mom (nor soon-to-be), so I didn't expect to receive anything that day, however, Justin's relatives showered us with house warming gifts. One of these said gifts was this odd-looking tomato tower garden station.

As you can kind of see from the packaging (above), it is a stand with a container on top that you can plant flowers, herbs, or other favorite foliage. The unique part about this contraption is that in the bottom of the container (pictured below on the right) there are openings where you can plant tomatoes so they hang upside down. How cool is that? I have always wanted to get a topsy-turvy tomato plant, but never had a spot to do so, until now!

Assembly was a breeze and after a few minutes, it was standing strong and I was ready to go shopping for my vegetation.

Before I could do so, I had to ensure it wouldn't fall over, so I filled the base's container with leftover landscaping rocks and sand; then I went shopping.

While at Home Depot trying to decide which tomatoes to plant, I talked with an associate who recommended planting strawberries or cherry tomatoes in the planter. He suggested planting something with small fruit because as large tomatoes grow they become so heavy that they fall off the vine when hung upside down, even the topsy-turvy planters. I had already planted roma tomatoes in my garden, so I picked out a couple strawberries to plant upside down—yum! To fill in the top of the basin, I decided to plant an herb garden and bought catnip, basil, cilantro, and oregano.

Back at home, I separated some of the strawberry plants and slid a single plant in each hole.

The planter came with these handy-dandy caps that I put on the hole, leaving a small gap where the plant hung down through.

After placing them all in and securing them with the caps, I filled the planter with dirt and gave it a refreshing drink of water.

To plant the herbs on top, I filled in some more dirt and planted them like any other vertical plant. I also used the same marker tags that I used in my garden to label the plants. Can you imagine wanting cilantro but grabbing catnip instead? (Blech!)

All in all, the planter turned out great. It is awesome having an herb garden a step out my back door and before leaving for work this morning, I checked my strawberries and saw some buddings of future fruit. I can't wait until those are grown and ripe.

Does anyone else have a planter like this? What did you plant in yours?

PS: Check back for an update on our garden, it's growing like weeds!

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