Ramble On

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The end of the bag garden

Mary still has tomatoes ripening in the Alexandria container garden – that’s not unusual for her, as she typically can continue harvesting until just before the first frost kills off the vines. Meanwhile my little experiment with bag gardening at the Hawksbill Cabin has ended – although we didn’t eat the zucchinis that came in (the backyard gopher did though, and the deer finally found the vines and ate the leaves off of the plants), I would call this a success.

Despite the skeptics (you know who you are!), the bag garden was a success because the bagged topsoil did keep the weeds away, and I didn’t see a single cucumber beetle on those plants, while the infestation in Alexandria was a natural spectacle. I saw a letter in the October/November 2010 Mother Earth News about another reader’s success with the approach, and I’d like to reprint an excerpt below:

"…This summer, our branch of the Adams Public Library attending our summer cooking class grow some of their own food, but most of these children had no access to a garden. Your article allowed us to think in a different direction. We planted four bags with green beans, cabbage, zucchini, radishes and lettuce.” The letter goes on to report that they didn’t have much success with the leaf vegetables or the radishes, but they did well with the beans and zucchini." - Rose Bryan, Geneva, Indiana

I imagine, just like in my case, the time for the summer bag garden has passed. In the photo above you can see the aftermath, where I turned the soil out of the bags and cleaned up the area. Now over the winter that topsoil will mix into the back yard. I am already thinking about whether or not to try it again next year – maybe with an earlier start, and maybe with a little fencing to keep the varmints out.

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