Transition time here at the urban garden. Salad boxes have been put back into service with surrey arugula, broccoli raab novantina and a "kitchen sink" micro-green mix. In the EarthBoxes, the fungus-challenged squashes and tomato, as well as all the tiring bush bean plants have all been pulled and in their places went sowings of waltham and calabrese broccoli, snowball cauliflower, rat's tail radish, noble spinach, wakefield cabbage...all of which are seeking sun through their mulch covers already. Picked up some more Etruria basil plants and anise hyssop from Silver Heights Farm.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Blossom end rot on tomatoes. There is much information on this around the internet, but of interest to urban gardeners is that on the EarthBox forum there have been comments about this being somewhat prevalent in first-year EBs. While precise explanations weren't offered, it seems that it has something to do with needing a year for the box to shake itself in terms of calcium distribution from the added lime. We'll see what happens next year; while many of the fruits on the tomato have succumbed, we do have a number remaining and waiting for warm weather to boost ripening.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
This pic of the tomato has a very jack and the beanstalk feel to it. Will be researching tomato pruning this winter.
Dino kale and rainbow chard. The chard ended up all yellow and has provided us with great yield. The dino kale is obviously doing well...it's perhaps our favorite green so to have it grow so well upstairs is wonderful.
Friday, July 3, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
While clearing out salad box 1.0 for another sowing, I came across a number of surprise guests - I imagine they are red wigglers, as fifty-percent of the mix in the box is LES Ecology Center compost. I don't know whether there were eggs in the mix when I brought it home or if there were already mature worms hanging out in there. Needless to say I was a little less aggressive with the hand fork upon discovering my squirming friends.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Thinned out my golden beets (above), watermelon radishes, rainbow chard, ronde de nice squash & marrow squash plants. Radish and squash tops in the compost queue for the LES Ecology Center; beet and chard tops destined for tonight's salad.
Sunday, May 31, 2009
I've been pondering the possible issues on the balcony that has turned into a place of dread for seedlings and transplants everywhere. It is a windy, open spot and this past week has been a particularly gusty one, not to mention pretty cool in temperature. Yes, there are many people growing peppers and the like successfully on balconies and rooftops; however, one of the interesting notes in The City Gardener's Handbook is the idea of microclimates existing in such spaces. The example is the converse of my situation - a perennial that, "according to the canons of zone maps won't tolerate New York cold," but was thriving on an eighteenth-floor terrace (it was a south-facing terrace with walls that all but eliminated the wind and retained the radiant heat of the building).
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Yes, those are EBs in bondage. Warm weather today here in Brooklyn woke up many of the direct sowings I made this past week (see flickr feed for details). A wind rolled in and the black plastic mulch cover of the EB was whipping the seedlings about. Fortunately I was hanging out with my father-in-law so I asked about this slick knot I saw him use to roll and secure a rug. Of course I thought I had a handle on it, but when I went up to secure the mulch cover, I was stuck with some butcher's twine and ten thumbs.
Here are the two tomato transplants that were adopted from greenscaper that haven't exactly taken to their new EB home. He forwarded me a link that will change my transplanting technique forever. From now on, I won't be handling transplants with kid gloves, as I was a bit disappointed that these sturdy-looking plans that greenscaper raised from seed are now struggling in my hands.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
If I had any inkling of diligence when it comes to that little box in Blogger that says "Labels for this post," I'm sure this blog is the soda bottle planter, bush basil capital of the internet. But this one plant of three that I am tending holds a special place in my re-purposed plastic world (a world into which, I may add, Ms. Mapleton-Bklyn has been hurled deeper than she could have ever imagined). It is the survivor of a rampant aphid infestation and is now bigger and more globular than the other two. Yes, that is the first time in my life I have used "globular."
This past Wednesday I caved to the "siren song" of Silver Heights Farm. Damage = two Genovese Basil and one each of Early Jalapeno, Thai Yellow Chili, Garden Sunshine (sweet pepper) and Rosa Bianca eggplant. There was an aphid issue that I did not discover until unpacking but I seem to have managed eradication for the time being. Yes, organic IS slower, and with more bugs. Destination for these, EarthBox SIPs.
Monday, May 18, 2009
One of the ideas that greenscaper is advancing is use of bottle planters to become familiar with the relationship between plant, light and moisture. He can articulate the concept and how-to better than I can, but through a combination of measured watering, observation/measuring of light levels, observing the plant growth and simply peering through the clear container at the roots and soil, one can gain a better understanding of plant needs (rather than blindly subscribing to self-watering container dogma).
Met with greenscaper to talk about urban greenscaping initiatives and pick up some adopted tomato plants and a pepper plant. The two larger tomato plants made it into the balcony EB yesterday; I'll wait until they perk up a bit for their first photo-op. I'll give the smaller two plants (pictured left) a little while longer in their bottle planters.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Started a flickr stream here. Tried to use the slideshow gadget in the sidebar but for whatever reason it wasn't linking to my username. Will try again in the future.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
More soda bottle planters - for thyme, rosemary and oregano. Plan is to let them grow in these for a while, then transplant to SIP-converted clay pots. I had rosemary and thyme indoors this winter in clay pots (drench & drain, both from last summer)...but mistakenly put them out on the balcony and forgot the whole hardening process, and they haven't quite recovered from the shock of fresh air.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Friday, May 8, 2009
Thursday, May 7, 2009
In the AeroGarden pic you're looking at basil in the left row, lacinato kale in the middle background, cukes in the right background. I don't know what the general consensus is on using an AeroGarden starter tray, but I had it, so figured why not try it? I'll probably transplant these into CowPots or pop bottle planters when they're bigger, then into EarthBoxes.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
This past Sunday I pulled up the herbs in the AeroGarden and started some seed from the Hudson Valley Seed Library. Happy to report that most have germinated, but there is a worrisome little fuzz forming on the Bridge to Paris pepper seeds. It's probably late to be starting peppers from seed, but I might try again in the name of experimentation and education in the hope of a well-planned start to the 2010 season. It is my first year attempt at gardening.
Monday, May 4, 2009
It has been pretty wet here for the past couple of days but I felt like snapping some pictures of our "kids." First up is our crabapple - it is by far the tallest of our additions this year and it's really exciting to think that it is taking well to its home.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Well, "it" actually began about two months ago. I hope to document the successes and failures of turning my unused roof space into a green space. Initially the plan for this year was to focus on the livable space aspect by putting in deck tiles and some trees/shrubs, but it's since expanded into a first-year experiment with food production. I was just going to start with some herbs and lettuce this year, but my enthusiasm got the better of me and I have some other things in the works now. You'll see.
- ► July (5)
- Edible Update Speed Round
- First Harvest 2009
- Pepper Thoughts
- Good morning heartache
- Challenges posed to rooftop gardeners
- Tomato Update
- Guerrilla SIPping?
- This one's for a patio farmer I know on the other ...
- Caving In
- AeroGarden starter fail 1.0
- Soil Moisture
- Weekend Update
- flickr posts
- Lettuce Round 2
- Bottle Herb Farm
- Unthrifty Nerd
- Soda Bottle Bush Basil
- Blueberry Blossoms
- Seeds - Update
- It Begins