May 272014
 

Three poultry feeder hangin baskets in the polytunnelSometimes the most obvious solutions are at my feet. Which is ironic, as I was after a high-level solution.

We’ve grown tomatoes in the Big Polytunnel for a few years now. They take up quite a lot of bed space and we felt we could use the bed space more productively. But we like tomatoes and have had limited success growing them outside with the awful summers we’ve had and the associated blight. So we thought about growing some tumbler tomatoes from hanging baskets.

Now hanging baskets outdoors in a place like North Wales is asking for trouble. High winds mean they are more likely to be a missile than a useful gardening asset. So we don’t have any conventional baskets. And I needed a solution for my tomatoes that needed a proper home.

Abandoned Poultry Feeder I fell across the solution when walking in one of our fields that we’d kept chickens in years ago. The large feeder broke when the high winds (did I tell you about those?) brought a big branch down from a sycamore. But it wasn’t that broken and would still hang… And a thorny ramble through other former chicken realms yielded up two other feeders that were not in the prime of life.

I gave them a bit of a spruce and drilled some drainage holes in the bases. Some 550 Paracord (olive drab, of course) was ideal to attach the baskets to the polytunnel hanging bars. A top piece of recycling I’m sure you’ll agree 🙂

#ShowsOfHands Tying up the poultry feeder hanging basletAnd this is my contribution to Michelle Chapman’s wonderful Chelsea Fringe project for 2014: Shows of Hands. Michelle’s project aims to highlight the most precious tool of every gardener – their hands. You can read more about the project here at Michelle’s blog.

I filled the baskets with Vital Earth peat free compost with some vermiculite. I slotted in the tomato plants as I filled, leaving a good 5cm space at the top for water. The feeders/baskets come with a useful ledge and so I put some spare nasturtiums in the big one and some self-seeded thyme plants in the other.

I’m very pleased with the result and can’t wait for the tomatoes to ripen. If you look carefully at the plant in the big basket, we already have a baby tomato…

Poultry feeder hanging baskets

 Posted by at 09:46

  4 Responses to “Hanging baskets from recycled poultry feeders”

  1. Now that is inspired. I can just about get away with pots of toms outside because my back garden is quite sheltered, but hanging baskets? No chance, not on the Anglesey coast!

    • Hi Janet

      Here on the Llyn, I feel your pain. We face into the prevailing south-westerlies here. 100mph+ is not unusual in the winter and summer winds can be fruity too 😉

      The only way hanging baskets work here is in the polytunnels, I wouldn’t be without them 🙂

  2. Carl, thank you for such a wonderful post! A marvellous recycling idea which fits so well with your ethos AND contributes to my project for Chelsea Fringe. I’m also pleased to have you extend the project into Wales. It now stretches from Eastbourne to Perth, from Suffolk over to you and Emma Cooper’s also taken us into space 220 miles above Earth 🙂

  3. Awesome thank you for sharing have a blessed week

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