Good day, my little weapons of mass destruction…. we are BACK (and the food news about the trip will be for another time – I’m just getting you guys some ‘breaking’ stuff today because we have to take off momentarily to drive some guests to the airport — which is three and a half hours away so what you see…ahem..).

Several posts ago (June 26th to be exact – here’s the link June 26th– go ahead and reread it), we discussed grow bags – or rather the lack thereof and the DH’s crafting me a couple from old feed bags and compost for the amazing number of basil plants we had. And the picture at the top is what we had at that time.

One month later, after one of the worst heat waves the Mid-Atlantic States have had in a very long time, that looks like this:

Now, we could have easily come back to dead plants. But here is why this worked:
1) The bags were filled with really good, compost, which has a really spongy water-retentive structure.
2) Our son, The Boy, was home to take care of the chickens, make sure Chez Siberia was not invaded by marauding Zombies, interface with Septic Man and his evil minion Electrical Pump Person, and water what looked as if it needed watering (i.e., things in pots or hanging off the hooks in the front and the back). He watered the basil-in-a-bag.
3) The location of the bags was pretty auspicious: During the hottest part of the day, those bags get shaded by a monstrous maple tree which happens to be about 25′ away – the edge of the shade just covers them and they otherwise get sun when things wheel around. So, the contents of those bags were cooler than they ordinarily would have been.

So, he saved the basil, which is really good because my plans for it include freezing, drying and turning it into pesto for the freezer. The Boy got definitely two thumbs up for this.

So, in other words – the grow bag technique works.

Also — and this is where Aunt Toby reaches out to anyone who knows anything about this: Espaliered fruit trees. Anyone have any experience with this? Due to Septic Man, we now have a 50′ stretch on the south side of our property which looks positively naked now and we’re thinking that a good use of that area would be a living fence of fruit trees. Anyone know what the plant spacing is for espaliered fruit trees? Any weird requirements? Wire better than trellis? The necessity for gun towers?

Enquiring minds want to know.

Have a great week and remember: wash your hands, wash your fruits and veggies and eat something good!



Snarky housewife from Upstate New York. Into gardening, fiber arts, smallholder farming.