The Grow Op – an urban gardening experiment

Holding Patterns
August 19, 2009, 2:21 pm
Filed under: Flowers, Fruit, pests, Plants, Vegetables

The garden has not appreciably degenerated in the last few weeks, but I am not really seeing any improvement. I think the chamomile is dead, so i will probably try to resprout some and start again. I am pretty good at the first part of the gardening process, so I am ok with this. I managed to beat back the aphid infestation enough to get the peppers to bounce back. this required some pruning, and a lot of close combat soapy water spraying. I was basically using the force of the spray bottle to blast the little bastards off. They are coming back a little, but i have been vigilant, so the plants seem to have some healthy new growth. I doubt i will get any peppers this year. The main problem may have been a lack of pollination (only one of each plant) but i think i may try to cross pollinate these two plants and get some mildly hot red pepper combo. Or a horribly mutant pepper-creature that will terrorize the Lower Mainland. Either way – genetics! The eggplant fruit stopped getting bigger, so i used them in a delicious tomato ragu-type omelette filling. Hopefully i will get a few more before the growing season is over.


June 6, 2009, 4:58 pm
Filed under: Fruit | Tags: , ,


So the other day I reaped the first rewards from my garden. I had three strawberries ripen over the last week or so. They were delicious.* Not very filling, but delicious.

*: Actually they were kind of bitter

I am hoping that after this year i can let the strawberries take over the entire SIP, but we will see.

“Everbearing” Strawberries
May 24, 2009, 1:20 pm
Filed under: Dirt and Soil, Fruit, Information, Plants | Tags: , , , ,


I bought this little seedling on a whim when i was walking down Commercial Drive. It was being sold along with some other seedlings in a bodega style fruit and vegetable stand. It already had a few little flowers, and looked pretty healthy.

There is a lot of information out there about strawberries, and it looks like without knowing it I chose a pretty good strain for a small indoor operation. There are 3 basic types of Strawberries: “Spring-” or “June-Bearing”, Ever-Bearing, and Day Neutral. The biggest crops seem to come from Spring-bearing, but there is only one crop per year, they tend to spread more using ‘runners.’ Ever-Bearing concentrate their energy on 2-3 harvests rather than spreading runners and daughter plants. There is a 4th type I saw mentioned, “Alpine,” but I didn’t really dig for info on that one or the Day Neutral.

I think if you are growing in a backyard plot, or commercially you probably want to go with Spring-bearing because they will propagate for you, can produce a big plot for the cost of a handful of plants.

Again, I am not sure how the strawberries will flourish in the SIP, but they definitely seem like a better fit than the Cukes. They tend to like a constant water supply. In fact i read that most large commercial operations tend to irrigate their fields – so I have that going for me.