The Farm Report
Always better to be lucky than smart, I say. I learned that I could just jam the ground cover fabric right down on my wire cages and THEN put the whole works in place. Why didn't I think of this before?
Like This! Next step: Fire!!!
A Harbor Freight flame thrower, a new bottle of propane gas and a match, and we're ready to do some damage. I use an old piece of steel conduit for my burning tool.
After I flame the conduit and get it good and hot, I just melt holes in the fabric (remember, the mfr says it is made from recycled plastic). Nothing to it. With the fabric down, it is easy to get the holes where I want 'em.
The plug flat tray of new marigolds got a little 'rooty' on me. Marigolds send roots down to China, and here is a look at how they do it.
One thing I like about the lowly Marigold is that they are tough as nails. I just ripped off the excess roots and pulled the plugs ready for planting.
And here once again is a look at my Homemade and Handy planting dibber. Yep, it is a broken spade handle with a piece of rebar drilled through for a foot hold. This one is perfectly sized for my plug flats.
As Red Green says, "And it's just that easy." Plunge the dibber down through the holes, drop in a plug of marigold and go to the next one. Sometimes I tamp them in a little, sometimes I don't.... Marigolds don't care.
In less than an hour, I had all ten flower boxes covered, pierced and planted. You can't beat that. Plus, the ground cover means I really don't have any weeding to worry about for the rest of the summer. I like that.
After I made bigger holes for my bigger tomato plants, instead of packing in soil to cover them, I just poured on a handful (or two or three) of common sand. It packs itself around the plant and lets water go through easy. The 'maters love it.
Potting soil and all. I was disappointed. That's my Biggie Size bulb planter tool you're seeing, by the way. I use it to make a hole when my dibber isn't up to the job.
Just look at this mess! Anybody want a deal on a whole bunch of net grow pots? Act fast, because I know a place to put 'em, and they're going there soon.
This year, it's 'maters around the outside perimeter trained onto the cattle panel fences.
It is hard to see in the little video, but I have a nice hill mounded up for the sweet potatoes. I lay the slips out almost end to end, then as you can see, I just pop them into place. It is exactly as easy as it looks - and if you're in Permanent Fifth Grade like me, you will be giggling to yourself all the way down the row. I'm easily entertained.
The roots do sorta grow together if I wait too long to transplant, so I just use a good sharp knife and cut them loose.
36 plugs of celery ready to grow up into hydroponic net pots.
Basil is another tried and true hydroponic lover. I like to make my own pesto, and fresh basil is key!
This year, the pizza lover in me started some oregano starts. Same drill: Half inch mini blocks to see which seeds really want to grow, then the winners get to move on up into bigger blocks for transplanting later into the hydroponic net pots.
As the late E.B. White said, "One man's pain is another man's pleasure." This pot had a broken ear - or nose or lip or something. Anyway, it had been pitched toward the garbage heap. I rescued it, and am intending to make it a wicking marjoram pot.
Hole in bottom will accept wicking material. In my case (since I'm a cheapskate) the wicking material is a piece of cast off Walmart polyester polar fleece blanket.
Wick installed and ready for filling.
Inside, I pull up extra material so there's plenty of surface area for the capillary action to happen.
Filled with Pro Mix and ready for sets. Once it is set with marjoram (or something) I will water it in, and then set the whole shebang on top of a five gallon bucket filled with water. It becomes a self-watering pot.
Miss Kitty says, "Don't even think about blaming me for that. I use this cheap shop rug for my nest, and it's just fine. I even keep my sword hands curled up just to be nice. Buzz off."