The Grow Op – an urban gardening experiment


All is Not Lost. Some is Lost, But Not All
August 10, 2009, 10:55 am
Filed under: Flowers, Herbs, Plants, Vegetables | Tags: , , , , ,

My Friends, please take a moment to bow your heads and acknowledge the losses of these past few weeks: Brave Sunflower, Valiant Dill Weed, Innocent Dark Opal Basil – we hardly new ye. Also among the casualties are the severely injured Chamomile, and the Peppers have some kind of infection from some unsavory mulch.

Finally, I think the tomato twins might be retarded.

But in brighter news, a lot of plants bounced back. I am making some tea with catnip and lime mint. I harvested a nice sized cucumber, and there are some beautiful eggplants coming in! And I saved one Dark Opal sprout, which is coming back beautifully.

Pictures of the harvest to follow.

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Aphids and the Approaching Armageddon
July 30, 2009, 10:00 am
Filed under: Flowers, Herbs, Plants, Vegetables | Tags: , , ,

So I did not expect anything approaching a pest problem in my lovely little sunroom – boy was I wrong. I have had a massive aphid infestation, which i noticed right before i left town for ten days. I knocked them off where I saw them and hoped for the best. Apparently that is not a comprehensive pest control strategy. Having returned last night, it was an Aphid orgy on my red and hot pepper plants. Oh, how I wept and raged and shook my fist at the gods…But that didnt work, so I tried a solution from my good friend Janet – literally: I used a weak soap solution and sprayed the shit out of those little bastards this morning. I will keep you all updated on the results, but Janet’s reports were of unmitigated success.

In brighter news, I have a huge cucumber! No, not (just) in my pants, but also in my garden. I was having major problems with my cucumbers being shriveled and pathetic – also not just in my pants. It turns out that they need a serious water supply, and I wasnt being diligent enough about keeping my SIP full of water. Moral of the story: Cucumbers are mostly water.

But all these issues pale in comparison to the nuclear A-bomb that our supposed ally THE SUN dropped on my garden over the last few days. The heat has totally decimated my poor garden! I basically spent the morning doing triage, as most of the flowers (Catnip, Chamomile, and Sunflower) were badly burned, and looking awfully sad. Also my herbs took a beating. I don’t think a couple of them are going to recover.

Light a candle for my garden, friends…



Climbing Cucumbers
June 17, 2009, 10:40 pm
Filed under: Plants, Vegetables | Tags: , ,

Cucumbers June

So it didnt take me long to realize that there was no way I was keeping these cucumbers contained in my SIP. they creeped everywhere, and were climbing everything, other plants, curtains, everything. If you have never seen a vining plant go to work, it is pretty amazing. they have these little tendrils that they wrap around whatever they can get a hold of.

So I knew I had to do something. Then, I was walking to the library and i saw what i needed. Unfortunately It was in the back of somebody’s vintage truck. In a pile of junk. So I stole it.

The chicken wire was perfect. I used that and some scrap wood from a nearby construction site, and i was in business. You can see the results in the photo above. The cukes LOVED it, and experienced explosive growth. I have had to prune it a bunch to keep it from hassling the carrots.

I am definitely going to need to make pickles.



“Straight Eight” Cucumbers
May 22, 2009, 1:11 pm
Filed under: Dirt and Soil, Plants, Vegetables | Tags: ,

cukes

I planted two cucumber plants from seedlings in the SIP. the variety is Straight Eight (make any applicable dirty jokes in the comments). These are apparently good for slicing, salads, and pickles, which were my primary targeted usages – honestly i am not sure what else you would use them for.

After some reading (which i like to do after i make my uninformed decisions on how to plant things) I found out that the cucumbers have rather shallow root systems, which may not make them ideal candidates for the SIP because as mentioned it seemed little dry on top. For now they seem to be doing pretty well.