March 29, 2012

Growing “Up”





I read in a book recently, whose title I can’t remember, about growing gardens when you don’t have space.  The book talked about growing potted plants, multilevel, in a tomato cage.  Thinking this looked pretty nifty, I have taken it on as an experiment. 

You make a cage out of 48”  tall, 4 -inch squares wire fencing.  The cage must be wider than your pots. Go for at least a 14 inch width across.  Clip the horizontal wires at the bottom so you have free spikes to secure the cage into the ground.  I would also recommend securing it with tent spikes or rebar. 

As you can see, I started with a standard pot at the bottom,  placed the cage over it then added each pot with chains, filled the pot with soil, then the plant or seeds as I went up.  (Fotos with directions follow)



What I put in the bottom pot here are Sugar Snap Peas so they could grow up the cage.  I planted Radishes in the center of the bottom pot.  I planted Radishes in the middle two pots and Kale, a taller crop, in the top pot.


                                                                           Kale with a few volunteer tomato plants I have not transplanted.





I used old hanging baskets with holes in the rims for hangers.  I removed the hangers and strung small chain (which can be found in hardware departments) through the holes, opened links with needle nose pliers to get the lengths I wanted for hanging, then closed the links around another link  …….










…..or around the wire cage as needed.










I have always grown my cucumbers upward in a cage by placing a cage over 2 cucumber plants, but this year I am also trying to grow them in several levels in baskets. 




I used store bought baskets lines  with the coconut fibers ($1.24 each at Wal Mart) and planted “bush”style cucumbers. I have not grown Bush style cucumbers before, so we’ll see.  I also intend to make a cage using the standard vine variety cucumbers.













This style of basket came with chain links that I just shortened and separated from the hanging hook.








Since the sun has been so intense the past couple of years, my beans just fried before they produced.  I have added two new Square Foot Garden beds closer to a tree so my beans can have shade during the intense heat of the day.  I am experimenting with the Lasagna Gardening technique, this year, using my  home made compost and soil I’ve dug up from the woods.  Nice black soil.  Also check here. for Lasagna Gardening in Small Spaces.

You may want to check these previous posts on gardening.

Rain Gutter Gardening

Rainbow Gardens

Planting a Wild Flower Garden

Painted Tires for planters and for pictures of plants in tires

Guardians of the Gardens

Have fun in your gardens no matter how small!  What have you done in your gardens where space is limited or when the ground is bad?

Teresa is a widow, with 4 children at home, two of whom are on the autism spectrum and still homeschooling after the age of 18. She has one neuro typical high school age son who finishes this year.  They embrace their inner rubber chickens on a regular basis, leaving a puff of feathers in their wake.  You can find them at Wockenflock Daze.

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