I've dipped my toe into the world of vegetable gardening. Now that we live in pandemic times we've tried to limit our grocery shopping to once a week. This has been a big change, since we were used to stopping by the store once a day. We've been thrust into the world of meal planning and larder stocking.
The thing we miss the most from the before times is quick access to fresh vegetables. So I fired up the old raised bed that The Man and I built probably 15 years ago. We were doing quite well in the salad department until the gophers figured a way past our wire containment system.
This is a sad little kale plant being sucked down into a gopher hole. They started out taking a plant or two every so often. Then their appetites seemed to ramp up and now they're polishing off more than we are.
So here's my answer: the fabric grow pot.
I've sewn up two of them now, both sized broad but shallow. They're intended for lettuces and they seem to be working well. I baby them with water and fertilizer so I can fit a lot of lettuces into one bag. We get the cut-and-come-again types so we can harvest a side salad pretty much every day, once they find their legs.
They're super quick and easy to sew up. I used some cheap synthetic felt I got off Amazon. I've discovered you can also use weed blocking landscape fabric, which is cheap and easy to pick up at your hardware or garden store. The felt is kind of cheerful though.
But the felt is also a little stretchy, so I thought I'd try sewing something along the top edge to help the bag hold its shape. Twine might have been nice, only we didn't have any twine. So I cut a strip off an old curtain that I'd been saving in my toile stash. And since I was sewing the edging on anyway I figured, why not handles?
I don't think my extra finishing details made much difference, to be honest. The improved version doesn't seem much squarer than my prototype, but the lettuces don't seem to care.
My tip would be, don't get any fancier than you want to. It's basically a bag of dirt, after all.
But if you did want to get a little fancy, you could make some pretty cute felt pots for little succulents, or maybe herbs to give to a friend. Then it would make sense to do a neat top edging with some bright cotton scraps.
In the background is my prototype pot with some leggy lettuce. I harvested all this and planted a new crop right after taking these photos.
These two grow bags will probably keep us in salads for a while, considering there are only two of us. In the meantime I'll figure out what to do with our raised bed. I'm thinking rebuild with galvanized steel and cement blocks. Take that, gophers!
My pattern review, such as it is, is on PatternReview.com here.