The End of an Era

For several seasons we grew crops in my 8′ wood and fiberglass self-watering planters, which were connected, via a float valve mounted in various types of chambers, to rain barrels. In them we grew towering tomato plants, that were soon hitting the ceiling in the hoop house.
I was so proud of these planters that I wrote a DIY book on how to make them. Trouble was, they were a bit of a bugger to build. They also needed 4 cubic yards of potting mix, and there was no means of getting air to the lower roots, without drilling holes in the sides, and adding fabric-which I did last season.
But those days are gone-both the days of growing towering tomatoes in these planters, and growing towering tomatoes at all. We have converted the planters to platforms for Garden Stream planters. The planters are handy, since they have levelers built into the legs, and they are a convenient tabletop height.
Rather than grow indeterminate tomato varieties, we are now trailing Dwarf varieties. My attempts at seed starting were less than stellar, however, and the resulting transplants were tiny, and rather sad looking. I planted the first string of bucket planters on the summer solstice-June 21st. Just 10 days later, the plants were responding happily to their new homes.
The second hoop house was planted with the 3 gallon Garden Stream planters that have been discontinued by the manufacturer. I planted these on the last day of June. Now, on the 4th of July, they are already becoming fine young tomato plants. I will report back, as the plants grow. Our eggplant and peppers are also responding well to their optimal growing conditions.

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