Monday, June 17, 2013

Flower Tower Fail

A few weeks ago I told of the flower tower project we tried, inspired by a Lowe's commercial.  Well, it didn't go very well.  Unless, perhaps, you enjoy black cylinders of dead petunias sagging with dried mud caked into their leaves and streaming down the sides of the tower.  

We went wrong in a few ways, although we followed the directions as given.  First, I sliced the fabric openings for the flowers too big.  I make an X about two inches high.  That is how the directions said to cut the opening!  As soon as we watered them, mud came pouring out the openings, eroding the soil around the flowers.  Soon, we realized that the water was just pouring down the outsides of the tower inside the fabric and not actually soaking into the roots.  It didn't take long baking in the sun with that black fabric for the flowers to wither away.  Then there was a downpour of rain which eroded a huge hole in the top of one of them.  Yikes.  It was too sad to take a picture of them.

This weekend we tried again.  We (Justin) cut new fabric, removed the plants, bought new plants from a picked over greenhouse and changed our strategy.  Justin made a watering pipe to go inside the towers.  The pipes are punctured with tiny holes so the water can gradually soak through.  I don't know why the instructions did not recommend this.  I don't know how else water could reach the bottom layer of flowers.  The openings in the fabric are much smaller.  Hopefully the combination of these measures will prevent the erosion issue as well as the lack of water issue.  Maybe it would have made a difference if we had used the more spongey bagged potting soil instead of farm field soil but who knows. 

The new watering pipe!

New plants!  Now they just need to fill out and cover the fabric!  We were able to salvage a few plants from around the tops of the towers that looked pretty bad.  I placed them in planters and on the tops of the towers where they would fit.  They seem to be recovering nicely. 
By the way, don't ask Justin to help you make a flower tower any time soon...he has had it with flower towers and has sworn off making them ever again!  We will see about next year...we will see...
The rest of the flowers are doing OK.  I suppose it has been close to a month since I planted them and they are finally getting exposed to more hot weather which I could tell they needed.  They are filling out nicely.  I have one problem.  We used field soil from one of my dad's fields instead of buying several bags of potting soil.  Well, it saved money but what comes with rich Eastern ND soil are very persistent Eastern ND weeds which farmers spend lots of time and money battling every year. 

I don't know what these little weed sprouts are...Dad?  Do you know?  I will be weeding my flower pots, I guess, since I don't think these annuals are Round-Up ready.  Now there's an idea Monsanto...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Those are pigeon grasses. Try a pint of Assure per acre.