Monday, May 20, 2013

We've got tendrils!!


I was away this weekend, celebrating GWU's graduation commencement (headlined by the most perfect everything, Kerry Washington -- check out her commencement speech on YouTube).  I left Friday morning, and didn't get home until way late last night.  Before I left, I was nervous about how the plants might fare without monitoring or watering -- I've noticed that outside in the sun, in the cat litter planters, my garden plants get dry pretty quickly.  So in order to minimize any damage my absence might cause, I brought the plants indoors and watered them the morning I left (also, to minimize any damage that Mickey might cause, I sett the plants up as high as I could...Mick loves his greens).


I got home late last night, and was so tired that I didn't really do any garden diagnostics.  Instead, I made sure Mickey hadn't somehow knocked them over and then went to bed.  This morning I did a thorough check, and found the snow peas have started to latch onto the homemade trellis!  Woot, exciting!!  A little shot of confidence that things are going alright.  And it's sort of amazing how quickly, almost overnight, that happened.  Small miracles of the universe, life happening.

Next I need to do a little research about pruning.  I've noticed some of the leaves at the bottom of the snow pea plants are yellowing.  I'm assuming those leaves aren't useful anyway, and that they might be drawing water away from the top of the plant.  I'll look into that and report my findings.

Anyway, good start for the week.  Happy Monday everyone!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Poor Man's Garden

Woot!  Spring is here!!!  YASSSS!!!   Been ready for quite some time now for shorts, flip flops, and outdoor happy hours.  And also a little gardening.

My mom always had a garden when I was growing up, and there's nothing quite as satisfying as going to the backyard to grab some fresh ingredients for dinner.  I've been wanting to tend a garden of my own for years now -- my work friends in Skillman know one of my dreams is to have my own hundred acre farm someday -- but my residences as of late have not been conducive for crops.  This spring I am taking matters into my own hands and creating a fire escape garden.  And before you get concerned, I've left plenty of room for egress should an actual fire occur:

I'm excited for this, something to keep me busy during the summer.  I hope I'm not being overly ambitious, but I've planted a bunch of stuff.

                            Top row: Heirloom tomatoes, parsley, thyme, basil, cherry tomatoes
                            Bottom row: Snow peas (3 containers) & radishes

I also have another container, not in the picture, that I planted strawberries in.  Those are going to be late harvesters, but hopefully worth the wait.

 And this is very tried and true Poor Man's Cupboard project.  Those containers are empty cat litter jugs (that were collecting in the apartment because I was too lazy to bring them downstairs to the recycle bin).  I just cut the tops off and filled them with organic potting soil.  So essentially the pots were free, and I spent about $20 altogether on the plants and the soil at Home Depot (shout out to Mom for the snow peas and the radishes, I got those from her).  Not bad!

I went to a couple stores to find trellises for the snow peas.  But the cheapest ones I could find were $7.99 each, and weren't that tall.  I knew that I could do better (read: cheaper) on my own, so I went back to home depot for some dowels and twine.

Once I devised a system and got the first one done, the second two took no time at all.  Dowels were $.89 each, and the twine was another $3.  Awesome!

Aside from the tomatoes (I love tomatoes, I will eat them like apples), I'm really excited about the radishes.  The ones in the containers are starter plants, but I'm also growing some from seeds.  They only take 22 days to harvest from seeds, so I planted some seeds in an egg carton that I will transfer to the pots once the potted once are ready for harvest.  Then I can sow new seeds, and keep alternating for the rest of the summer.

I actually already harvested some of the starter radishes.  They were popping up out of the soil, and I wanted to make some room for the smaller ones.

So good!  This is a really exciting project, and I hope to be blogging about it all summer.  And I hope you stay tuned to read all about it!