Hanging Garden Day 2286

I originally posted about my Hanging Garden way back on May 9, 2013. That is two thousand two hundred and eighty-six days ago. This is a picture of the jalapeño plant I planted in those Topsy Turvy planters about 6 years and 3 months ago; this picture was taken on Saturday August 10, 2019, or 2284 days later.

This little jalapeño is tough. I cannot honestly say that I have taken good care of it. It has dried out on many occasions and I have thought it was dead quite a few times. I always give it some water and watch as it comes back to life. It is the only plant that is still alive from the original hanging garden.

I did not experience any real success with the Topsy Turvy planters, this guy notwithstanding. The tomatoes I planted were poor producers; not enough room for them to grow and fruit. This particular jalapeño had me thinking for a year or two that the Topsy Turvy planters might be better suited to peppers. They were not. This plant is my greatest success with the upside down planter experiment.

The hanging garden itself has gone through a lot of changes. The jalapeño is the only plant still hanging. The rest of the things hanging from the frame are decorative. It was an interesting idea that was not well suited to my style of gardening; again, this particular plant notwithstanding.

Topsy Turvy Results

I started using Topsy Turvy planters about four or five years ago. They look interesting enough. The plants in them hang upside down out of a non-porous cylindrical bag, which has a cover on the top with a hole to pour water through, and an opening in the bottom that the plant emerges from. I thought I would give them a chance. Now, after two years of close observation, I think I am ready to voice an opinion about them.

I have attempted to grow several different types of plants, using both the individual planters and the larger Topsy Turvy garden planter. I have planted numerous types of tomatoes, various chilies, bell peppers, and lemon cucumbers. I have had mixed results.

The cucumbers were a complete failure. I got one cucumber from the individual planter, and it was small and underdeveloped.

I have only been moderately successful with tomatoes. Tomato plants never grew very well and did not ever provide more that one or two small growths of fruit. Meanwhile, I have tomato plants in the ground that were massive and produced fruit for months. There was no comparison, tomatoes in the ground performed spectacularly better than those in the Topsy Turvy planters.

The quiet success has been a jalapeno pepper that I planted in the summer of 2013. The plant itself is not large, but it produces a moderate number of peppers consistently. I also have a bell pepper and habanero plants that are doing pretty well, though they haven’t produced a lot of fruit. Peppers seem better suited to life as an upside down plant than anything else I tried.

I may not be completely without blame in this limited success. I am sure I could have done something better, like water more, or use better nutrients. However, I like how when I stick a plant in the ground my biggest problem is keeping it from overtaking too much of the yard.

It might also be a problem of expectation, perhaps I expected too much from these planters. I like when my plants establish themselves and depend on me for an occasional watering. I am a lazy gardener. Perhaps these planters don’t fit my gardening style.

Hanging garden day 34

So we are a day shy of 5 weeks. The garden is doing well. The tomato and the lemon cucumber plants that were my original hanging plants are both fruiting. I don’t know if that is according to schedule or better, it is just nice to know that my plants are fruiting. The others that I planted are starting to flower, so the fruit won’t be far behind.
As a matter of fact, my jalapeño plant is fruiting very well right now. I will let you know how hot the chilies are when I make my first batch of salsa.
It is interesting to me to note that the plants are all still growing up. I wonder if the weight of the fruit will weigh down the plants? In another couple of weeks we should know.

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