Tuesday, June 12, 2012

It Seemed Like Such a Good Idea...

For years I have seen advertisements for 'upside down' tomato planters, with lusciously green leaves, tons of tomatoes and glowing descriptions about perfection achieved. I knew that my life would reach new heights if only I would own one of those upside down tomato planters. Yes, I know how to pursue my happiness in effective ways.

My goal for this summer was to FINALLY get one of them, which sounded quite easy. We all know I could just go to the garden center or Kmart and get one for a few dollars. First stop was our garden center where they had them, but they were $15 a piece! That is crazy I said, and I told myself that I would get it much cheaper at our local big box stores. Or could google how to make one myself. In my spare time, you know.

Over the next week, I visited Kmart "No, we didn't get any in this year.", Walmart "Hmmmm, no I don't think we have any", Home Depot "I think we had some but we seem to be out.", and many other places. NO ONE had an upside down tomato planter! I briefly considered making my own, but sanity quickly prevailed and I sheepishly returned to the nursery where I surreptitiously put it in my basket and paid the required fifteen darned dollars.

Next step: filling it with tomato plant and soil. Should be easy, eh? Not like any of those descriptions ever said 'You will go through many tomato plants and learn exciting new swear words if you try this project.'. If all those people in the advertisements could do it, so could I! I found out the hard way that truth in advertizing is not always to be expected.

First I realized quickly that to fill it, I had to put it down somewhere. With the tomato plant upside down in it. Oh. That makes it kind of hard to put it down without breaking it! I could kind of half put it down, and fill it, but the darned thing got amazingly heavy. And heavier. And then even heavier!!!

 I was so happy when I finally had it filled, things looked good and I hung it on its hook (which was an interesting strength exercise in itself and required a stepladder and many power words)

Then I realized I forgot to put on the 'lid' and thought hmmm, maybe I should add that, since it might be necessary. I took it down, half dropped it, put on the lid (by now I was so totally turned of by this whole upside down tomato project) and wrestled it on its hook again. I proudly stepped back and wanted to bask in the glory of a task well done.

Until I noticed... that the stem was broken.

Oh noes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! All that work! All for nothing? This wasn't supposed to happen!!!

I actually left it this way for a few days while I took many deep breaths and bitched to my friends about the complications of upside down gardening. They humored you by pretending to be empathetic, but I bet they really were laughing at me behind my back!

Got a new tomato plant, devised a plan B which involved two chairs as holders while I filled the darned planter. I had to empty the whole thing before I could start all over, since the design doesn't allow you to just replace the seedling.
I made a big mess, used some new choice words, but eventually I had my tomato seedling planted upside down.

It'd better grow LOTSA tomatoes!

And I will be more careful in believing glowing advertisements :p
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