By Jannie Vaught
Even the growing regions with warmer weather are Waiting. The ease we use to have and the regular dates and schedules are now ineffective due to the usually cold and ice storms we have had and now another volley of cold and wet. This makes it that Wait till the sun shines. Our usual time to plant potatoes is Valentine’s Day Feb 14th or thereabout. Waiting for that soil to get close to 45 degrees. and not too wet to get in the garden with a shovel rake or tiller. I finally got 2 long rows of potatoes planted on Saturday and a long row of onions as my previous planting was looking very damaged. And this may even be a misjudgment.
Time will tell.
I would like to cover the use of Wicking tubs or Wicking beds. These are large tubs and containers for growing vegetables and flowers that water themselves from a water reservoir in the bottom of the tub. I have learned much from an older gentleman on his gardening site on Youtube. “Gardening With Leon.” He is a very reliable source, he’s 81 and been growing a long time. Experience is what I look for. You can go to his site and learn how to make several “Wicking tubs” I used his method in an old bathtub. Basically, it is this. You will need a large pot or tub that has no holes in the bottom or side. A few feet of French drain tubes or another tubing with holes. or PVC pipe that you drill many holes drilled into.With your items gathered start with the bottom of the tub. Do not cut holes in the tubs you are going to use. I use vitamin-mineral tubs that cattle feed comes in.
Sometimes I get them free sometimes I pay a small amount. In this tub place French drain tubes, lying flat or the drill PVC laying flat to cover the bottom. Over this lay weed barrier cloth or even doubled burlap. something to keep the soil out of the holes in the pipes. Then add a piece of PVC pipe Not Drilled standing up from the bottom to the top. This is where you will fill the tub with water. Now fill with good potting soil mixed with some perlite or vermiculite for softer soil and root growth. and a handful of fertilizer organic if possible. Fill to the top as it will sink. Now fill with water through the standing pipe till it stops gurgling. And dampen the soil. Plant with your desired vegetables or flowers. Water when they look a little wilted in the morning. Location can be your patio or garden. I’ve seen this done with the pots lined up to make rows. I will be using this method again this year and adding some growing areas that are marginal. Too much shade or hard rocky soil.
And even if you say you ‘Have a Black thumb” this method is a good way to get some cherry tomatoes. You can place stakes or cages around the plants as they grow to keep them upright and vertical.
Spring is almost here!!
Growing Green With Jannie