There are some inventions I’ve tried and wouldn’t like to be without now. The Earthbox was a worthy purchase, although with a bit of D.I.Y., they can be made cheaper. The other thing I bought was a growbag support. I’m not sure whether that is still being produced but again a D.I.Y. alternative could be made. I am not overenthusiastic about using a growbag as you would normally see them. I’ve had them on purpose-made trays but they either dry out very quickly or more likely, with our weather, get waterlogged.
In spite of that, I wouldn’t give them up, they do have a place somewhere in my garden and greenhouse. I buy them and use the compost to fill the tomato pots. They are an ideal size for me to handle and they should have the correct mix of nutrients to get the tomato plants off to a good start.
I grew popping corn in a growbag one year and it did better than expected. I will try it again next year with glass gem corn, Cherokee. It looks interesting and it can be popped.
Each year I sow lots of seeds, most have good germination so in the end those little seeds grow up and need to be potted on. My favourite pot is a simple white drinking cup with a hole in the bottom for drainage. White because I can write whatever it is, on it and it doesn’t need a label. Since I always end up with excess plants, I give most of the extras away and leave their new parents to re-pot and label them if they want to. However I still keep a lot and writing on the drinking cup is fine but they need to be labelled when potted on again. I do use recognised plant labels but I also cut up plastic milk cartons, even the discarded used drinking cups and wooden coffee stirrers get turned into labels. There is no issue at all with the labels but I do find identification a problem if the name of the plants fade beyond readability. I have a variety of Sharpies and other permanent markers but don’t believe the manufacturers about them being permanent, they do eventually fade in the sun. A pencil works well as long as you have a surface it can write on.
A chance statement on the forum of a gardening club, made me think it might be time to try another labour-saving gadget. The plant labelling machine. It sounded a ‘must have’ gadget so I ordered one and now wish I’d thought about getting it before. When you are writing plant names on labels or cups, it is so time-consuming and a bit boring. With the plant labelling machine, you can type in the name (even with graphics if you want) and print off as many as you need. The sticky back will adhere to labels, pots and in fact anything you want to label which has a surface you can stick the label on. There’s plenty of boxes in the shed needing labelled as well so that would keep the little machine busy until planting season – if it’s not worn out by then. Best of all, the print does not fade so hopefully there will be less chance of mixing up my plants as normally happens.
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