This year I’m trying out new ways to grow tomatoes, cucumbers and squash. In addition, I’ve planted potatoes for the first time.
The potatoes required an investment in bags made of a felt-like material. This allows water to drain through, and they’re light enough so that even when filled with dirt and mulch, I’m able to move them around. I liked the convenience of the bags so much I bought additional sets for my surplus plants.
And did I ever have surplus plants! Because I wanted more than one variety of cucumber (bush and straight), I had to acquire containers to plant the extras. The same with zucchini and crookneck squash-three seedlings were not enough, and 6 of each meant I had 12 squash seedlings to plant.
The tomatoes, cucumbers and squash need supports, even when growing in the bags, so my husband has been busy building trellises. The obelisk for the cucumbers is his first construction, but because our temperatures have been so low at night, we have had to construct a portable hoop house to keep the plants warm. This means the obelisk will not be able to be used until temperatures are consistently 50s-60s or higher. It was made from rough-sawn white oak, purchase directly from a local sawmill. This is the same wood we used for the beams in our family room renovation.
Homemade Gardening Supports
The tomatoes in the concrete raised bed will be better supported this year. Fewer tomato plants were planted, and they were planted in a zig-zag fashion, which means there will be much more air space between plants.
To build the tomato supports, first a metal fence post was pounded into the ground on each end of the concrete bed with a long-handled sledgehammer. A hole was drilled in the metal fence post at the top. Clothesline wire was then strung between the poles. Next, long, wooden stakes were pushed into the ground next to each plant, angled toward the wire. A hole was drilled at the top of the stakes and garden plant support wire was used to secure the stakes to the wire. These materials were already on hand.
The tomatoes and cucumbers in the bags have their own supports. These are made from fence pickets, each costing about $2. The cost for each support is approximately $5-6, including 1-1/4” construction screws.
Storage Cabinet for Gardening Supplies
Finally, to house excess mulch, bags of dirt, fertilizer and tools, my husband built a storage cabinet. This was built with two sheets of plywood. To create the look of panels, he used a table saw to cut groves into the wood at different widths. Surplus hinges and handles were used, as well as leftover white exterior paint.
I hope you enjoyed “A Supportive Garden Post!”
Next up: Adventures in Flower Gardening!