Jun 23, 2009

Gardening update and Upside down tomatoes in a 2-liter bottle update

Hey all -- I know I've been terribly absent for over a week! We've actually been dealing with a lot of crazy circumstances and losses in our family, all at once and I guess I haven't felt like posting. I tend to be rather private about emotional goings-on, and there are a lot of goings-on. Just trying to roll with it all and depend on God. He seems to be the only unshakeable One around here!
Anywho, I have still been painting; just finished a pioneer girl illustration that I've submitted to my critique group for any revisions before I post it here. And currently, I am working on a horse painting! A mama and baby, for the EBSQ "Ripped Off" show. I'm doing it in a rather picture-book type format, with space for text.
Last but not least, it is SO time for a garden update as our gardens are exploding! There are going to be a lot of pictures, bear with me. ;)

Current state of the top garden. The cucumbers and watermelons are quickly migrating and spreading over the bottom half!

Current state of the front garden. There are also gigantic zucchini plants, oregano and lavender that you don't see in this picture. Those tomato plants are absolutely covered now in little green tomatoes! Had to finally tie them to the stakes today as they are starting to bow from the weight.

The upside down tomatoes are doing splendidly. Even they are now covered with little green tomatoes, which sprouted since this photo was taken! Some of their stalks have flipped now so that they point straight down instead of growing upwards like this.

This is a great way to reuse those plastic bottles for a good thing, folks! A refresher on how I did this:

UPSIDE DOWN TOMATOES IN A 2-LITER BOTTLE!
Need: Baby tomato plant, 2-liter bottle, craft knife, single hole-punch, 2 long pieces of thick string or twine (I crocheted mine out of yarn with a chain stitch), coffee filter, dirt.
1. Cut the bottom off of a 2-liter bottle or juice bottle.
2. Punch 4 evenly spaced holes around the rim of the bottom to put hanging string through. Can put duct tape around the rim before you do this for more strength if you want.
3. Pull a piece of twine through 2 of the holes on each side, so that the twine hugs the outside of the bottle to hang it with.
4. Carefully pull baby tomato plant through the smaller mouth of the bottle, by either leaves or roots, whichever will go through easiest until the leafy part is all outside the bottle.
5. Put a coffee filter around the plant's base like a tree skirt inside the bottle so it won't fall out as you put the dirt in.
6. Fill up the bottle with dirt, with the small mouth of the bottle & plant facing downwards.
7. Tie it up somewhere sunny!
8. Water it very well, until the water runs out the bottom. After that keep it consistently moist. In my hot/dry climate I water them every day, sometimes even twice for REALLY hot days. Less if it's cloudy/raining.
9. Watch it grow and eat some lovely tomatoes!

Yum!


I love this completely adorable watermelon. It's about softball sized now, I wonder how big it will grow?

Aah! Bell pepper of cuteness!

Eggplants really make beautiful flowers. This wound up turning into a baby eggplant.

Mystery squash in the top garden. I have no idea what this will be, but it is huge! Methinks there was a seed in the compost when we mixed it in with the garden soil. In the compost heap itself there is another great big mystery squash growing that is different from this one, and today I discovered some potato plants growing in there too! Compost heaps are really great fun. Full of surprises. ;)

Here is what I picked today. Three pickling cucumbers (there will be salad tonight!), a big zucchini, and some oregano. The oregano was getting leggy and was sprouting little blossoms, so I thought it ought to be trimmed. This garden has been such a rewarding experience and joyful too. Good to have some joy especially when the world has gone crazy.
Well that's it for now, folks! Hopefully an art update soon.

6 comments:

Candace Trew Camling said...

yum! I have been gradually expanding my gardens since we moved here 2 years ago. I just have rhubarb and tomatoes this year... and the rhubarb wont be ready to harvest for a year or two. I love flower gardening, but want to start some raised vegetable beds next year. Your food looks so enticing! Thanks for the photo tour!

Carmen Keys said...

I like this gradual garden expansion idea. ;) Wow, I didn't know rhubarb took so long to mature!
I haven't had much luck with flowers so far, I keep trying.

Pixie Wildflower said...

Wonderful. My in-laws have an upside tomato thing a friend gave them, but your idea is more economical than buying those things off TV,

Shipra Panosian said...

ooooooh! I've been longing to try my hand at growing tomatoes. I think I'm going to have to try it this way.
Your veggies look scrumptious. Makes me long for a patch of my own.

Daniel said...

I love your pictures! I've been slaving away ion my own garden for so many years, but it still brings joy to see other people's garden pictures. I want to try upside down tomatoes this coming Spring. Great info, thanks!

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