Vegetables, it turns out, can be grown not only in the beds, but also down the tops of the fence, wall and even on trees.
If you still have large plastic paint containers after the repair, do not rush to throw them away. They will help you realize one of the latest overseas trends in gardening – growing vegetables “upside down” into reality.
Growing vegetables upside down
This growing technology is most successful for tomatoes. Its main advantage is space saving. Containers with tomatoes hanging under their bottom can be hung in any well-lit places – on a loggia, terrace, pergola. This technology eliminates the need to tie up plants. It also makes plants immune to certain types of pests and fungal diseases.
Along with these advantages, the fashion method also has obvious disadvantages. Large containers with soil and plants, and even after watering, weigh a lot and require not only serious efforts when hanging, but also a reliable fastening system. In addition, like most plants, tomato is characterized by heliotropism, i.e. growth towards the sun. Most tomato varieties, when grown upside down, begin to pull young shoots up, bending around the container to get as much light as possible. And only under the weight of the fruit do they begin to sag. That is, the plant has to expend energy to maintain its natural position.
Therefore, only specially selected varieties of tomatoes will look more decorative with this growing method. It is better to give preference not to bush, but to ampelous varieties with small fruits.
Almost any firmly suspended container can be used to grow tomatoes upside down, but 20 liter plastic buckets with a handle are the best option. Planting is best done with an assistant to make the process easier and safer. Make a hole in the bottom of the container about 3 to 5 cm in diameter – large enough to accommodate the stem of an adult plant. Place the container on two legs for easy access to the bottom. Place crumpled newspaper or some sphagnum moss near the hole. The moss will act as a filter, allowing excess water to pass through but preventing the substrate from leaching out through the hole.
Pull the lower part of the plant into the hole so that the stem is no more than 5 cm outside. Fix the plant. To do this, you can wrap its roots with the same sphagnum. Fill the container with soil, holding the plant, and compact the substrate well by sprinkling the root about 5 cm. Then add a layer of compost and finally fill the container with soil so that the substrate is a few centimeters below the edge of the container. Hang the container in a permanent place and water liberally over the substrate so that water begins to trickle out of the hole.
When carrying a container with a plant, you need to be extremely careful not to break the tomato. After watering, the soil may settle slightly. In this case, it is necessary to add the substrate to the required level. The plant is also fertilized from above.
If desired, you can plant spicy herbs or bushes of garden strawberries on top, which will play the role of a kind of “live mulch”. It should be borne in mind, however, that herbs such as marjoram and oregano can prevent moisture from penetrating into the lower layers of the substrate. Therefore, the plants will have to be watered much more abundantly. During the season, it is also necessary to check the substrate level and add soil if necessary.
For those wishing to try the original method of planting vegetables in the West, they have even invented ready-made sets of a hanging basket, an irrigation system, an earthen mixture and fertilizer. The finished hanging basket is made of plastic-coated wire and lined inside with a special breathable synthetic pad. The convenience of this gasket is also that it has a zipper – it can be opened slightly when planting a plant so as not to damage it, and then closed.
It should be noted that not only miniature tomato varieties bred for growing in containers are suitable for such planting. Eggplants, cucumbers and some types of beans are also planted “upside down”. Similar experiments were carried out with bell pepper, but due to the excessive fragility and fragility of the shoots, the method turned out to be unsuitable for this culture. published by econet.ru
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