Saturday, May 31, 2008

Bamboo Bargain

On a recent visit to the hydro dealer I noticed that he had bunches of bamboo tied in a barrel near the door. Hmmm I thought, the AutoPots have holes for staking plants, so why not use these bamboo shoots to form a tee pee.
Well, I blew a whole dollar ninty five for a good sized stack of bamboo. After staking the tomato plants I had quite a few pieces left. Well, I needed a trellis for the cucumbers and had a small piece of 4 x 4 pressure treated lumber left over from the sill, why not build a trellis from bamboo?
A simple matter of drilling five holes in the lumber and weaving the shoots together formed a real sturdy trellis. And, both will come apart easily for storage and reuse next season. All that for a buck ninety five.
The tomato in the photo is a variety called Wayahead, and that it certainly is. It is not even the first of June and the plant is in full bloom with small fruit beginning to form. My neighbors are just thinking of putting plants in the ground, so I am Wayahead indeed.
By accident I broke the lead tip off one of the Rutgers plants while moving it indoors in anticipation of frost a few weeks ago. Allowing one of the suckers to grow solved that problem, and the the sucker is now forming buds and will be the new tip. We had a few small oiled filled electric space heaters around in case of emergency, so I placed one of them in the greenhouse using a timer set to turn on at nine pm. and off at 8 am. If cold temperatures are forecast I activate the heater to turn on when the timer activates. Also, I read somewhere that tomato plants will not set fruit if the night temperature goes below 55 degrees, so it will solve that problem also. So far I have only had to turn on the heater a few nights. Yes it uses a small amount of energy, but the swimming pool filter used a heck of a lot more, so I am really way ahead with the greenhouse vs. the pool.

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