Friday, March 28, 2008

tomato buckets and power tools

Remember the handyman's upside-down tomato plants?

Well, it just so happens that I get my own this year. I'll have two simple posts with hooks on either side for four buckets. There's a new plan for the holes in the buckets - we decided to make them larger to allow for sticking in larger starts or fitting a couple of patio princesses in there. I suppose we could have started the tomatoes in the buckets, but using power tools was much more fun...

We should give those of you who know me a moment to laugh here.... AND have another.... Done? Okay.

For the rest of you, I'll catch you up. My history with power tools has not been uneventful. As a little girl, I had visited my father where he worked in the hospital and saw a man sitting on a gurney with one hand holding another hand that was missing some fingers. How many? I don't know - I just saw the end of an arm wrapped in bloody gauze. My dad leaned over and whispered in my ear, "That's what happens when you stop being afraid of power tools. He almost cut his hand off with a chainsaw."

Ah, it's so easy to scare small children. My dad was the champion. It's easy to confuse them, too. Are chainsaws power tools?

With that fear firmly planted in mind, yesterday the handyman handed me the drill and said, "Drill some holes, woman!" (Okay, he probably left out the "woman" part.) I managed the holes fine, but had to have some coaching on using the electric saw to cut out the rest of the opening. I will say that despite my whining and complaining, the handyman made me do them by myself, so I'm giving myself credit here. I did them. By myself.... Even though there's no picture to prove it.

Cutting his small holes into larger ones.

I like that you can't tell in the picture that my holes are misshapen. Throughout school, my art teachers all said a lack of symmetry was interesting. I plan on having the most interesting tomatoes. Ever.
In the picture above I'm hammering the sharp edge of the hole so that the plants, and my fingers, don't get cut at any point during the transfer or eventual upside-down swinging in the wind. It also creates a little bit of a lip so that a small amount of moisture is retained.

You also might be interested to know that I'm wearing three fleeces and can't feel my bum. Smart, huh?

Because it took a month of Sundays to cut and hammer my holes, the handyman helped me get the labels off with a heating gun.

Since his were old and the opportunity for peeling had long since passed, he decided it was a good enough reason to get out a blow torch. I really really wanted to use it, but the handyman scoffed at the idea of me burning his labels. (If you can't tell, I think it would have been much better to stick the torch in my eager paw than give me an electric saw... but who am I to question his judgement?)

Well, Dad would be proud. The fear's still there, but there was no blood, no lost fingers, no corneal abrasions. And, I think the final products turned out just fine.


Anonymous said...

What an interesting concept! I've seen ads for what lloked like big duffle bags with tomatoes hanging out of them but I like this idea much better.

I may have to try this myself.

Thanks for the post.

Anonymous said...

I have never seen this before...looks like an intersting way for the tomatoes to grow.

Heather said...

Brrr...getting cold just thinking about you in that fleece, lol. Can't wait to see how the tomatoes turn out. We'll be playing in the dirt a lot this week I hope :-)

ChrisND said...

Those look interesting, I like the idea of smaller buckets. I am going to try the 5-gallon bucket thing this year. I will put a gallon container with a wick in the top to help with the watering. Good Luck!

Sandra Parker said...

Great work! Really, power tools are a good help. Thanks for sharing your amazing and brilliant work.