Thursday, November 02, 2006

Topsy Turvy Planter Review

Last Christmas I gifted Topsy Turvy planters to several gardening family members, including myself. Due to relocations, no one else was able to make use of their planters this past summer, so this review is based on my experience alone.

My configuration consisted of the Gro-Pole plant hanger, two Topsy Turvy planters, and two Plug n Gro bags in which I planted an assortment of herbs and marigolds. (Re herbs: the basil and parsley did the best, the borage the worst.) I placed the Gro-Pole in my strawberry pyramid for additional space-saving: strawberries grew in the two outer rings of the pyramid, rhubarb in the inner ring, and the Topsy Turvy stood above them all. I did not anchor the pole legs, though, and later in the season, a big wind blew over the whole thing, so I relocated it to lawn.

In general, I liked the Topsy Turvy. It does save space, and since the plants were off the ground, I did not have a problem with wilt or rot. But my plants did not get bushy or produce very well. For a growing medium, I used sandy topsoil with homemade compost; next year I will try something lighter and richer, and fertilize more frequently. I planted an Early Girl and a Big Boy, but next year may try different varieties.

By the end of the growing season, I was tired of the daily watering regimen. The planters come with baffles to help keep the water from running through too quickly. I'd rather implement some kind of automatic or drip watering method. Something upon which to meditate this winter.

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