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The Resilience Hub & Portland Maine Permaculture Message Board › Vertical Space/Cotton Carpet Mulch/Winter Compost

Vertical Space/Cotton Carpet Mulch/Winter Compost

Penelope
user 5846522
Portland, ME
Post #: 1
Hello Everyone;

I am seeking your input regarding 3 issues:

(1) I am considering ways to utilize vertical space, speciffically from my second floor deck. It receives at least 6-8 hours of sun. I am thinking about hanging tomato, squash, and cucumber plants from the deck to free up space from ground level gardening. In this regard, have any of you tried this either by utilizing the commercial product (topsy turvey) and/or by using your own design? If so, please advise of your experience to include flying pest issues such as the beetle.

(2) I have an 8 X 12 braided cotton carpet that I am either going to recylcle, use as sheet mulch, and/or perhaps give to someone that can use such a carpet as mulch. I ask advise from those of you that have used cotton carpet as mulch about their experience in regard to the benefit/disadvantages as well as to the length of time to compost and materials used to affect the process.

(3) In terms of winter composting given that the compost pile is not assessable should kitchen scraps be gathered in a receptable close to the kitchen and/or added directly to shrubs or plants that are assessable?

Thank you for your input, Penelope
Lisa F.
lisa.f.organizer
Group Organizer
Portland, ME
Post #: 267
Hi Penny -

What direction does the deck face? In addition to containers on the deck (or hanging from the deck) a great way to use the vertical space would be to create a trellis from the deck down to the ground. It can either be the quick/easy/cheap trellis netting you can buy - great for peas, etc. - or something more durable. We grow on netting up the south side of our deck *and* we plant other stuff in the bed at the foot of the trellis. That bed also contains the grape vines whose foliage starts higher than the netting does and then climbs up over onto the deck. We are planning to add a steel trellis over the deck this spring so that the grape vines can really climb and shade the eating space on the deck as well.

If the carpet is cotton, there's no reason you couldn't sheet mulch with it. I would use it this year in a sheet mulch bed that you're not going to plant until next year.

I would get a compost pile or bin closer to the house for winter use so you're not having to trudge through snow. This is one of those things that really needs to be in Zone 1 in winter but not neccesarily in summer. If you are concerned about critters, then I would avoid direct spreading of food scraps on the surface or around shrubs, etc. We've done both open bins and closed bins and, when using the former, we refer to emptying the compost buck as "feeding the skunks." FWIW.
Ted M.
TedMarkow
Brunswick, ME
Post #: 16
Hi Penny,

Regarding the Topsy Turvy upside down tomato planter...is this permaculture? (you know I'm kidding).

Honestly, I don't see why it wouldn't work, though I think the claim that hanging the plant upside down helps water and nutrients pour directly to the tomatoes is a little far fetched. Plants have a natural method of sucking up nutrients and don't need gravity to help. Other than that, I'd be interested in hearing whether this works. Seems like a good way to utilize space. I'm not sure it could be used indoors, however, since it seems like the water would just dribble down the plants and onto the floor...unless I'm missing a key part of this system.

If you decide to give it a try, please let us know how it worked. It would be cool to incorporate new methods into permaculture.

Ted
zengeos
zengeos
Gorham, ME
Post #: 41
Here's a link to the Gardenweb message boards where there was a short discussion on what types of tomatoes work for hanging baskets, and where to get them, if that helps

http://forums.gardenw...­

By the way, there are a couple nice boards there...greenhouses, permaculture, soil and composting, etc...I've found it to be quite a useful resource for gardening in all areas.

That's where I got my lattes *CattlePanel* Arbor....as another form of vertical gardening :)

Mark-
Penelope
user 5846522
Portland, ME
Post #: 3
Hi Mark;

Thank you for the link. I checked out the posts regarding the hanging baskets as well as the photos of the Arbor. I will likely give it try as l want to free up garden space. Below is a link that you may be interested in checking out:

http://growerssupply....­

This supplier offers extensive gardening supplies for residential and commercial purposes.

Penny
Penelope
user 5846522
Portland, ME
Post #: 4
Hi Ted;

Ha, I wonder about that myself!

I will likely try it. There is another distributor of the inverted growing container system located in Vermont called Gardener's Supply Company http://gardeners.com...­

This model appears to be superior to the Topsy Turvey.

You may be interested in checking out Growers Supply Company at http://growerssupply....­
Company offers extensive line of residential and commercial growing products.

Penny
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