Monday, July 26, 2010

vertical tomatoes

I don't remember whether or not I shared this, but after a couple of years of sad garden results I finally tested the soil.  pH was neutral (very near 7), phosporous ok, potassium ok.  But nitrogen was so low as to be almost unmeasurable by the kit.  D'oh!

I have been laying on compost this summer, and will winter the chickens over the garden later this year.  Both of these should increase Nitrogen for next spring.

So I don't expect much from the garden this year.  But I did want to share my experiment with vertically growing tomatoes. Here's a bit of scribble I emailed to my father about the experiment:

I think it's a promising idea;  I got it from the Square Foot Gardening guy.  It's basically a way of increasing density in small plots.

When/if we get any fruit I'll support those vines with additional sisal.

Theoretical benefits:

  • Since they are vertically planted,  other/lower plants can be planted on the sun-side.
  • The majority of the plant is held up out of reach of ground-level bugs and standing birds.  I trimmed the leaves about 1' up to minimize rot/mildew from watering.
  • no rot induced by fruit laying on ground 
  • toms appear to enjoy growing vertically;  not bushy/hunchbacked like when I grew them in cages. They aren't hard-tied to the verticals at all;  just guided alongside the vertical with loose sisal loops.

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