Monday, August 26, 2013

Quick update: Tomatoes and Radishes

Just a quick little update:

First of all, for the cherry tomatoes -- pruning off all those sucker leaves was TOTALLY the right thing to do.  All of a sudden, I have a dozen or so more cherry tomatoes blooming.  This has actually been really invigorating and has gotten me excited again about this garden.  Fingers-crossed on the strawberries (all suggestions welcome).

Also, the radishes are coming in nicely.  This picture is from after I pruned a bunch of radish shoots...and let me tell you, I might just grow shoots and not even wait for radish bulbs.  The radish shoots/greens taste just like radishes, and I've been using them in salads.  Seriously, these took just about a week and are so much more satisfying!

Hopefully I will have some more good news soon!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Long-Overdue Garden Update (It's not pretty)

I'm not going to rule this experiment a complete failure.  It certainly had it's challenges -- cat litter jugs as garden pots, growing on a fifth floor fire escape, a relentless heat wave.  I think it turned out the best it could have, although I wish I had yielded more fruit.

Let me break it down.


Yep, this one went down for the count.  I guess the whole thing started with the heat wave -- it started yellowing, and I had to bring it inside.  It seemed like it was doing ok, but it took a turn for the worse and there was no saving it.

One thing I have to mention is that this plant had a bunch of great looking leaves and two green tomatoes on it for the longest time (I think I commented on this in previous posts).  I did a little bit of research, and found that Miracle Grow (which I had used a couple times) is full of nitrogen, which is great for leaf growth.  However, tomatoes need phosphates, and I ended up going to Home Depot for a separate tomato plant food.  Once I added that in and stopped using the Miracle Grow, the tomato turned red in a matter of days.

Unfortunately, I was only able to eat one of the tomatoes.  The other one was attacked by a mysterious creature.

To this day, I have no idea what ate the second tomato.  And, I almost don't want to know what monster crawled up a fifth floor fire escape.  Anyway, sads.


Sort of a blurry picture, but you can see the cherry tomatoes are doing pretty well.  This picture is from a couple weeks ago -- since then, Carl and I had a nice salad (although we basically used all the fruit).  Here's another picture from last week:

It's still very green, and a couple more tomatoes popped up.  As I was doing research about yielding more fruit, it occurred to me that maybe on the fifth floor there aren't enough bugs to help pollinate the tomato flowers.  I tried to help it along by using a small wet paint brush (a suggestion from one of the sites).  Also I did some research about pruning, and I took some time this morning to clip some of the "sucker" leaves.
There are a bunch of new flowers towards the top of the plant, so I'm hopeful that I'll get a second crop out of this plant.  Will be monitoring this for sure.


These plants are actually doing pretty well.  They've been the best producers all summer.  Unfortunately Blogger is being weird and won't let me bring in a picture here, but you can see them in some of the pictures above.



These were the most fickle of all the plants I started this summer.  Super sensitive to heat -- I had to bring them into the house constantly.  They only yielded a couple snow peas at a time.  I loved the idea of this, but it took up a lot of my time.  I wasn't so upset at losing these plants.


Ok, you can see these in the pic above, in the white jug.  I'm not entirely sure what kind of peppers these are, my friend Lynn's parents gave them to me.  They look great -- but they haven't grown more than 6 inches in the last two months that I've had them.  I've been watering them, but I haven't done too much research about care.  Since the snow peas died, and now that I think I have the cherry tomatoes under control, I might focus more attention on these.

I've started over with these.  They didn't really do well to start - again, I think because of the heat wave - but I have a packet of seeds that I've barely used and I decided to plant some on Friday.  You can see I already have some growth -- what I like is that radishes have a full germination of 22 days, so it really doesn't take a whole lot of effort.  I'll keep you updated on these.

I have no idea what's going on with these.  The leaves look great, and I  even had some flowers (I posted a pic a few posts ago).  But they really haven't progressed.  Again, I blame the heat wave, although I need to do a little research about these.  I know that they are late bloomers, and recently I've had a lot of new growth on these.  No new flowers though.  Ugh.

* * * * *

So, that's about it.  A few dead plants, some consistent herbs, and some staggering tomatoes, peppers and strawberries.  Summer's not over, and we're getting some great weather these days.  I'll be keeping an eye on all of these, and hopefully will have an update again soon!