Sunday, February 13, 2011

Last Season Review: White Desk Planter

This setup was a very late season afterthought, both because I'd just acquired it and because I had some sad un-planted straggler tomatoes. Being a wood desk it may only last a few seasons, but it amuses me plenty in the meantime. I planted it up on August 19th.
Realizing how wood can dry out, I used these handy SoilMoist sheets in each drawer to hold in moisture.
In this bottom drawer is tomato 'Gold Rush', a tiny currant-sized tomato with orange fruits. It looks floppy at first because I always plant my tomatoes lying sideways in the soil, the lower buried branches pinched off to provide more spots for roots to develop. I'd wager that this technique may have further delayed fruits on such a late planting, since it was busier making new roots than fruits. *sigh*
This upper drawer has tomato 'High Carotene', another nice orange-fruited variety with larger fruits. These are pretty big plants, I felt bad they'd not found "homes" so late in the year.Some seasons we don't have a killing frost until late October, so there was some hope.
The top shallow drawer seemed well suited for greens, so I sowed lettuce 'Tom Thumb' and flat leaf Italian parsley. I used a SoilMoist mat again, but I want to point out that it's covered with soil before the seeds are sown.
I made sure to cover this shallow drawer with chicken wire so that my chipmunks and squirrels couldn't wreck my handiwork by burying their food stashes in it.
Atop the desk in one more pot is tomato 'Stupice', also protected from squirrels with this old grate. I make a point of collecting these at the local dump for this usage, saves money and repurposes junk. (Plus I rather like the "look", but that's me :)

All the plants grew well, tomatoes were forming, and I even thinned the lettuce and parsley in September.
By early October a hard freeze was forecast, so I gathered all the green tomatoes I could find. These aren't all from my desk, those plants yielded about a half dozen greenies.
This was taken after a light frost a few days later, but the party was pretty much over. (The other pot is some cilantro I'd moved there for more sun exposure.) I'd managed to get some parsley from the shallow drawer, but the lettuce never got anywhere.
Ah well, I'll study the desk and hopefully get a better harvest this year...doing my homework should really pay off! (Just couldn't resist the puns :)


Joanne said...

what a cool idea! a real conversation starter! Blessings, Joanne

lisa said...

Thank you! :)

Delta said...

It is really creative! I also like the look of the a little rusty & casual too!

mrbrownthumb said...

What a neat idea! I wonder what plants named after school and educational stuff would be cool to grow there.

donna said...

Lisa, you are so very clever. Enjoyed this post. Now get busy and do your "homework".


lisa said...

Delta-Thank you!

MBT-Huh, never thought about it that way. I can't even think of a plant named like that...did you have any in mind?

Donna-Thank you, I will! :)

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

What a cool idea! Amd you're going to laugh--I had NO idea what soil moist sheets were, though I've had one for years. It came along with some wool seed heat mats a friend got from a friend. I thought the white thingie was just another heat mat. (Can you tell I'm a winter sower?! and don't buy products often?)

lisa said...

Thanks Monica! That totally sounds like something I would do, I'm always buying things and not using them until much later. All in good time, eh? ;-)

Sparkling said...

this is a neat idea, but i worry about all of the chemicals that are in the wood (it's usually plywood or other pressed woods which are full of bad things) and the paint. i would do this for ornamental things only.

lisa said...

Great point! It would be plenty decorative full of flowers, too...thanks!