Thursday, May 21, 2009

This one's for a patio farmer I know on the other coast

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."


Anyhow, also on the bottle SIP herbfarm the others are doing well; in fact I'm running out there in a little while to clip some oregano for a sea trout destined for dinner. There is one tomato and one pepper, both awaiting transplant and both adopted from greenscaper. Unfortunately, the two tomatoes planted last weekend in an EB are not doing well. They were leggy and long overdue for transplant and I've read that this is not a good combo for a transplant. I also popped them straight outside, but probably should have "hardened" them a bit considering that they were in an apartment environment all winter. I'm taking greater care of the one tomato and pepper...they're up to five hours outside in sun.

6 comments:

Greenscaper said...

Hey Chris, please send me a pic or two of the tomato plants. The rest of them are soon to go outside into SIP buckets and your experience would be helpful.

Chris said...

Pictures uploaded to flickr. I know you chide folks who harp about their brown (or in my case, yellow) thumb, but who knows what I managed to do to your sturdy looking plants?! The third tomato and the pepper will probably go out this weekend after a week of hardening. The pepper leaves though, after its stint in the sun, are very floppy when I take it back in...

Greenscaper said...

Anything is possible, but I don't think it's sun scald. My best guess is a problem with getting water to the root system. The root system of these plants is exceptionally dense from growing in the soda bottle planters. Did you scarify or spread the root system as shown in these photos? You may well have an interface between the root system and the fresh new soil in the EarthBox and the plants are struggling to get water.
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/object/article?f=/c/a/2009/05/17/HOL117GOOS.DTL&o=0

Chris said...

Thanks for the suggestion and link. I did my usual root tickle but as the article suggested, I didn't exactly "rough the plant up a bit." I will certainly do this in the future.

mypatiofarm said...

Hey Chris,

So, when i'm not a blogger, I'm a writer for the Los Angeles Times. And I just got the urban farming beat! Can we borrow your photo for our Home section's new blog? When it's just me I steal. When it's for THE MAN I have to ask!

Maybe we can do a quick phone interview too? let me know!

Deborah

Deborah.netburn@latimes.com

Chris said...

Hi Deborah, congrats on the urban farm beat...that sounds exciting! You may use my photo, no credit necessary as it's just a plant in a planter. I'll be the first to admit that your interview efforts would probably be better spent on someone who has not created a sort of death row for seedlings...