Monthly Archives: April 2014

Warning Window Growers

I learned 2 lesson this week that I hope you’ll take and not make the same mistake! First, if you want to grow food in your window, make sure you have a screen on the window. 
My windows have screens, except for one; I took it off and put up a magnet screen so I could let the dogs out the window.  They didn’t take to it (when I lived in GA that’s what they used solely and loved it).  But I left it up. 
On a warm day, for no particular reason I pulled the screen back.  It made an upside down V in the window.  It stayed that way for a few days.  It was cloudy, so I thought nothing of it.  My lettuce started dying in the middle of one container.  I thought I had watered it and poured water too hard there.
I was so gentle from then on but it kept dying. Then I saw the pattern.  I’ve closed the screen.  The lettuce seems to be fine now. 
My only guess is that the glass magnified the sun heat.  I know that other plants must be a few feet from the window if it is closed bc of what glass does to the sun light.
So from now on, the screen will stay on, and down. 
The container with the fastened screen is taking off!
2nd lesson; make sure you have room for your roots. I had to get creative today.  I’ve built everything around the containers and I realized my green beans were outgrowing the container they were in! So for now, I cut the bottom out of an extra container I had, they were the same size as the one I was using.  Then I stacked them so that I could fill them up twice as high.  It’s not practical or pretty, but I can fix it next year.  My thing was not losing my crop this year.  I only lost one bean stalk in the transfer.
I also injured myself cutting the bottom out.  I suggest having the right tools when cutting, building, or whatever you are doing.  I usually do.  I got hasty and decided to go ahead.  Bad idea.  I won’t know until tomorrow how bad it is but my range of motion in 2 fingers is getting more difficult (when I don’t take ibuprofen) and the knot on my hand is blue so I got it good. I share to say, USE THE RIGHT TOOLS! Don’t be me.  I knew before I started I shouldn’t do it.
Well, that’s it for now.
Keep playing in the dirt!  

Where we are

I’ve eaten two strawberries from one plant and the other plant is starting to produce berries but none have ripened yet.  They are juicy and sweet but small.  Still, I’ll take small any day dl for this sweetness.  Last night I put up a net for the cucumber Bush. It’s big and long but I figure I’d rather it be too big and handle the weight of the fruit than too small and fall.
Once my peppers grow I’ll put up the other net.  I have too many but I know some aren’t going to survive. I just don’t know which ones are going to make it so I’m waiting.  If I’m wrong and they all make it, I have 2 planters I can transplant into.
The Green Beans are growing so I staked them.  Nothing is producing yet they are just growing tall. I checked each one.  They look sturdy. 
The cantaloupe is just green and leafy. And the blueberry bush has places to bloom but nothing has happened.  I’m just watering everything well. 
My lettuce still looks like it did a week ago.  I really don’t see how it will turn into romaine lettuce. 
I try and talk pleasantly to and around all the pants.  But today I stayed quite.  It was one of those days.  Maybe tomorrow the sun will come out and we’ll all feel better.
Keep playing in the dirt

April 18, 2014 Dolomite

When I went to the leasing office I was surprised, I had a FedEx delivery. When I saw the package, I thought it was either my Broccoli or Bell Peppers. Nope; yet another surprise, it was the Dolomite for the garden.

I had already poured the dirt, so I put the layer of dolomite and then another layer of dirt, then the plastic to attract heat. I cut holes for each plant and began planting each Banana Pepper plant. I had enough room for  the Cucumber, Strawberry and Peppermint plants in the back. Tomorrow, when there is sun, I’ll add a picture to my media folder. It’s on wheels, so I can move it wherever the sun is. As the plants grow, I can also add stakes.

I’m researching what the best way to do the stakes. For my cantaloupe, I have a baby gate turned into a trellis and I am going to add “slings” to hold the weight of the fruit (recycled item). For the Green Beans, I have wooden stakes, in both cases, I have Velcro ties so the vines can grow up but be held  to the stake or trellis. My question is for the peppers, there are so many, what am I going to use? This isn’t something I have to decide right away. Right now the plants are not more than an inch high. Also, my research has taught me not to allow them to bloom before July 4th to avoid bitter peppers (although I think I got a late enough start that this won’t be an issue this year).

My other plants should arrive May 1st. Everything else is doing well. I have been going on line and seeing what they should look like, they look healthy for their age.

Oh, I did get a new strawberry today. It’s small and green, but it is on the plant that had no fruit, so it was a great sign. Both plants are fruitful now!

Take care, and keep playing in the dirt!

Patio Gardening

Everyone keeps asking me if I’m blogging about my gardening experience, so I thought, why not?

It started as just whim. I thought I’d get a few seeds and just see if I could get anything to grow. But before the 1st seeds arrived in the mail, I was reading about porch and patio gardens and I was hooked! I was saving toilet paper rolls; testing the best way to cut them to make boxes.  I was pricing containers and tracking the sun on my porch. You could say I caught the gardening bug before my hands got dirty.

When the seeds arrived, I was ready.  I planted, watered and then sat and watched the dirt.  Oh yes, I actually say in front of my window like something was going to happen immediately. After all, I’d already been waiting for weeks.

Each morning I’d get up and water them, smile and cheerfully check to see if any dirt had moved. Surprisingly, it only took a week and green poked through.  My first garden baby! By afternoon I had 3!

This called for celebration, I went out and bought more seeds! Still waiting for the broccoli and bell peppers, I added Romaine Lettuce, Cantaloupe, and Green Beans to my garden.  A few days later, while picking up supplies, I got strawberries and a cucumber plant.  Then, I added a blueberry bush and potatoes.

Oh no! I live in an apartment,  my porch is not large what am I to do? Panic set in. I had gone crazy with the buying. I needed a plan.

Believe it or not, it all fits.  The lettuce needs sun but not heat, so I’m keeping it in my window sill.  Plenty of sunlight but I control the temp.  If I have guest over, I can close the curtains and the lettuce is hidden.

My Bell peppers are going in a different window.  It gets sun sooner, and I can let the peppers climb the window like a trellis by using special tape that let’s the vines grow but holds them.

The rest fits on my porch. I’ll post pictures soon. Many have already seen pictures I’ve been paying on Facebook.  I’m going to attempt to start posting here instead.

This is all new for me.  Gardening and blogging. So I hope you join me on the adventure!

Until next time, keep playing in the dirt!