Sunday, May 13, 2012

May Update


Our window now has a privacy hedge!

We have been trying to pollinate our tomato plants using buzz pollination.

A video on using a toothbrush for buzz pollination.

Some of our basil going to seed.  We have tons of basil from our three plants

The green beans are ready for picking!!

There are several baby roma tomatoes growing on our plant.

A couple of hillbilly tomatoes are also growing.  The plant is over 5 feet tall!

We also have some little cucumbers.


May is here and that means its time to plant!!!
However, my window garden is already starting to bear fruit!

We planted little pepper plants!  We started these from seed.  Birds or slugs are eating up the leaves, though.

Our garlic is doing great.

The spinach has already gone to seed.  We have pulled most of the plants and put tomato plants in their place.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Vacation's OVER! Plants are HUGE!!!


I'm sure all of you are anxious to see the progress of my first honest attempt to grow plants!  If not, that is ok.

No, these are not my plants.

But these are:

My window is slowly turning into a jungle.  The beans are above the top of the window and the tomatoes are almost two feet tall.

The tomato plants have little flowers growing on them.

The cucumbers are growing and continue to make little  flowers.
We have been harvesting basil leaves for various recipes. Our basil plants are super tall.


There are several small "volunteers" popping up all over our garden.

Plant with weird leaves.

The garlic has sprouted.

Spinach and garlic

Another interesting volunteer.


A couple of the beets survived!!

More to come soon....
eventually I will add more useful information.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Gardening



Something is taking bites out of our spinach plants.

Our onions seem to be doing well.

The chard is looking good.

These little seedlings are popping up in a place where I did not plant anything.  They might be weeds or volunteer plants.

This is another mystery seedling.  I have been giving it water to see what it develops into.


The tomato and basil plants are over a foot tall now.

The cucumbers are hanging in there.

The onion, basil, and tomato plants.

The pole beans.


I have noticed several small gnats flying around my indoor plants.  After a little searching, I determined that these are fungus gnats.  I plan to use GNATROL, a natural soil bacteria which kills gnat larvae, to help remediate the gnat issue.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Pole Beans

Our pole beans are doing very well indoors, so I decided to plant these instead of our slow growing peppers.  I planed all four plants we stared in one of the tall containers.   For the outdoor garden beans, we will sow the seeds later this season directly in the garden.

Pole beans in center of the photograph.  I strung ten hemp strings from a hook in the top of the window pane for the beans to climb up.  So far, the leaders from the bean plants are more than halfway to the top of the window!

Three of the four containers.

My cruddy-looking cucumber plants.  I am pretty sure that their sickly condition is likely the artifact of the non-potting soil that I used.  It may also be bad seed stock, which I hear is common with cucumbers.  Hopefully they will hang in there.

My two containerized tomato plants have stakes now.  I will probably put some strings on these containers,  like I did for the cucumbers and pole beans, once the plants in them get big enough.  There are also three basil plants and one onion plant in these containers.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Compost Signs!

I finished making signs for the compost bins I built earlier.
  1. Add - put stuff to compost here (this bin is now full)
  2. Water - actively composting material (this bin is currently also full)
  3. Take - take finished compost from here (this bin is also full)

Now all I need to do is affix them to the bins.


I just checked on the store-bought spinach, onion, and chard plants that we planted yesterday, and the chard is already looking wilted.  I took the covers off of the hoop houses, because the high today is 87 degrees F and the low tonight is only 45 degrees F.

Growing Plants and Flowering Cucumbers

and the

I am trying to sort out my concerns with my cucumbers.  I think I just have to be patient, and my plants will grow fine.  I found this video, which is fairly informative, but a little wacky:

It shows how to manually pollinate cucumbers, which is pretty cool.

I have been giving these plants a little bit of organic fertilizer mixed with water once per week.  I am watering once or twice per day.  My florescent light timer is set to keep the lights on for 16 hours, which may be too much light.

The tomatoes and basil continue to grow well.  Cropping the tops of my basil plants have caused them to make several branches of smaller leaves on the existing branches.  I think I will have to get supports for my tomato plants soon.

Current view of my rough-looking cucumbers.  Should they be flowering already?  I am seriously considering ditching these plants and replacing them with the pole beans, which are growing like crazy.


Seeing as how most of our sprouts have had a high fatality rate so far, we decided to try our luck with some store-bought sprouts.  Yesterday, we bought spinach, chard, and onion sprouts from Western Gardens and planted them in our outdoors garden plot.  We then covered the sprouts using our little hoop houses.

One spinach and one onion plant of the original sprouts that we planted are still alive.  We left them in place and tried to give them some love.  We will see how they do.

Unfortunately, the water at our garden will not be turned on until the end of April, so we will have to manually water our plants at least every other day.

It seems like the western half of our plot gets the best light, as the construction trailer is blocking a good portion of the other half.

Onion Sprouts from Western Gardens

Spinach sprouts from Western Gardens

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Compost Bins


As promised, I am posting the results of Wanda's Whispers work party on Saturday.  At the work party, the garden crew cleared out a plot for children, cleaned up the garden, and organized straw bales.  

Some of the straw we moved.

We also organized the compost piles at the garden.

I got an early start on the compost bins on Friday.  
On Friday, I brought all of my power tools, including screws, a power drill, and a circular saw. Unfortunately, the construction crew at the Unitarian Church was using all of the outlets, so I started the compost bins using just hand tools.  I had to pull old nails, hammer them straight and then hammer them into place.

On Saturday, I was able to run an extension cord and finish the bins using my drill and saw.  The left-most bin was fairly impromptu.

I plan on making engraved aluminum signs to direct where to add to the compost and where to take from the compost.
Here are some decent sites on how to compost:

The finished compost bins.  The bin to the left is the add bin, and the other two are actively composting.

Cortney (sp.?) and Joan made nice layered piles of N-rich material and C-rich material.

A close up of the "add" bin.

We bought an under-the-sink compost bucket to add our food scraps to the pile.


We planted our onion and brussel sprout sprout today.  We also planted some garlic cloves.  We covered our newly planted crops with our hoop house.  Our other plants that we planted seem to have died. We have a couple of spinach plants hanging in there.  A construction trailer is blocking a large portion of our light.  

We plan on adding spinach and kale starts (store-bought) next weekend.



My cucumber plants are looking extremely rough.  The leaves have speckled brown spots on them.

The cucumber plants are creating flowers and little vines.  The vines are slowly winding around the cord I strung up earlier.

My basil and tomato plants are growing slowly.

The squash plants are outgrowing the peat pots and will need to be replanted soon.

I have several pepper plants that are growing well.

The pole beans are trying to vine up my light chain.  I am going to have to figure out what to do with these.