By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter
I am always looking for a new type of container for my tomato plants.
I have tried upside down planters, concrete planters, bushel baskets, and even bags of potting soil but I had never tried a wine bag.
This idea came to me one day when I was at my local salvage place.
They had one wine bag they had gotten in a load of dog food. At first, they had no idea what it was but when I explained why there were four pockets, it was like an eureka moment.
After purchasing the bag, I took it home and admired my new planter. I could not wait to fill it with tomato plants. So once my local frost-free date had passed, I took out my wine bag to plant it.
To begin this process, I opened up my bag and placed about two inches of soil in the bottom. What is great about the bag I picked up was the fact that the division of the bag did not go all the way to the bottom. Instead, it only went down half way, which allowed me to add the soil without having to fill each pocket.
Once that was done, I began to prepare my tomato plants. First, each one from its container and teased the roots with my fingers. Then, I removed the leaves going up the stem, making sure to leave three to four leaves on the top. After that is completed, I place each tomato in its space. In this example, I am using a four bottle bag and in doing so I will need four plants.
I then sprinkle Epson salt into each planting area or wine bottle space and then fill with soil. Once you have filled the bag, gently push down on the soil and add additional soil as needed. After that is done, place the bag in a flower flat and water in. Again, add additional soil after watering.
Now, place your new tomato garden in a sunny location but do not hang up. The bag material is not strong enough to hold the weight of the soil.
When using this technique, I do have a hint when it comes to picking plants for this planter. While you will get a longer harvesting season from indeterminate tomato plants, they will not work in this container. These plants require trellising and the bag itself is not strong enough to hold any type of plant support system.
So until we blog again, even the simplest thing can be turned into a functional planter.