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Indoor Container Garden - City Living

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Indoor Container Garden - City Living

Post  El on 7/26/2010, 10:01 am

The gardening bug (thanks in no small part to our Megan) has bitten me hard.

Ander217, you asked for more photos - here they are! These are just the most recent photos I've got; I still need to photograph my monster thyme plant, the recovering oregano, and the new mustard and cut-and-come-again boxes (which haven't even sprouted yet.) I have Alpine strawberry seedlings too, but they're too small yet to even get a good picture. And I have some Salad Bush cucumber seedlings, with about 5 leaves so far, but not a good enough picture to post.

I propagated three Thai basil plants into a happy container full of delicious spicy leaves ... they were too far from the window for a couple of days, but I rearranged them, so at the moment they're much greener than in the photo. The dish to the left is a vinegar trap for the pernicious NYC gnats:




... I had more Thai basil cuttings take root than I could fit into the pot! Those are garlic sprouts on the right.




My Fernleaf dill is coming up nicely. The white powder is food-grade DE:




In the cups are test pea seedlings (wasn't sure of the seeds), and the seedlings for pepperoncini plants. The foreground are He Shi-Ko Japanese bunching onion seedlings:




Here, we have a cup with two brave lemongrass seedlings, a pot full of Little Finger carrots, and a big bag of soil-less mix getting sun treatment to keep fungi from forming:




Last, but not least, this was the first harvest from Tiny Tim Tomato (in my avatar off to the right). My wedding band is there for scale:




I really need to set up some shelves. The garden is taking over our apartment!

El

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Re: Indoor Container Garden - City Living

Post  craftsmaster on 7/26/2010, 11:03 am

What is that you are growing in plastic bottle? Using herbs regularly in cooking has two distinct advantages. First, herbs add a dimension to your cooking that will impress not only you, but your spouse and your children as well.
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Re: Indoor Container Garden - City Living

Post  El on 7/26/2010, 1:07 pm

I don't have a plastic bottle - you might be looking at the two Thai basil cuttings rooted in the repurposed glass jar, waiting to be transplanted?

El

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Great photos

Post  ander217 on 7/27/2010, 11:04 am

Your photos look great, El.

BTW, Megan is an inspiration to me, too.

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Re: Indoor Container Garden - City Living

Post  El on 8/17/2010, 7:45 pm

It's been a few weeks, so I figured it was probably time for an update.

My Salad Bush cucumbers have gone from this (around July 13):



to this (today):

The plant in the back actually has a tiny vine that's just starting to uncurl!


I also have a pot of bush-type English peas:



And the dill is just beginning to get lovely and ferny:



The Rugen (Alpine) strawberries we planted July 4 for my husband's birthday are almost big enough to photograph now:



And the seedlings (pepperoncini, lemongrass, and Orange Pixie tomatoes) that I showed you all upthread are getting big and strong:

El

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Re: Indoor Container Garden - City Living

Post  Megan on 8/19/2010, 8:07 pm

Just beautiful! Those strawberries look awfully familiar. You'll be amazed at how big they get!

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Re: Indoor Container Garden - City Living

Post  El on 8/19/2010, 10:37 pm

Megan, I sure hope the strawberries get big - my husband loves them and I'm so looking forward to being able to show him what they taste like fresh.

Also, I came home tonight to discover wee chard seedlings unfolding themselves - I am so excited about those, chard is yummy!

El

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Re: Indoor Container Garden - City Living

Post  Megan on 8/19/2010, 11:16 pm

From what I understand about growing strawberries from seed, you will not see any this year, but maybe next year. I started mine from seed this spring (and they looked JUST like yours do now!) and they are now fairly big plants, but no blooms yet. The seed packet said to keep them moist and I have tried to do that.

Congrats on the chard. Mine took forever to get going, but once it did, it has been "cut and come again" ever since. (I thought it would die at the end of spring and I'd have to replant this fall... but it's still going!) It is a fairly large plant (bigger than I remembered) but you could probably get 4 of them into a big pot.

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Re: Indoor Container Garden - City Living

Post  El on 8/19/2010, 11:28 pm

That's about what I figured for chard - I planted about 12, I think, so I can enjoy the thinnings while I wait.

El

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Re: Indoor Container Garden - City Living

Post  Megan on 8/20/2010, 7:03 pm

Speaking of strawberries.... I have ONE FLOWER on the plants I started from seed this spring! Woot!!!! flower

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Re: Indoor Container Garden - City Living

Post  El on 9/25/2010, 4:07 pm

I really need to take some updated photos, but I have this to report:

My now rather huge (for indoor plants, anyhow - and thank goodness they seem to have stopped right around the 3' mark as advertised) Salad Bush cukes finally have at least four female flower buds. Here I sit, paintbrush in hand, awaiting the time when they open enough for me to play bee ...

The carrots continue to put out tons of foliage and one or two of them look like they might be developing bigger taproots.

I transplanted two healthy Orange Pixie tomato plants into bigger pots about two weeks ago, and they're looking quite happy and green. Also did two pepperoncini plants, likewise looking lovely. The Swiss Chard I planted in August has leaves about 4" long at the largest; mustard continues along merrily (and is very tasty!); peas have bitten the dust (no inoculant, d'oh, but I've let them die in the pot as advised and am going to try re-planting in that same pot tomorrow and see if I get better results this time); strawberries have OMG REAL LEAVES and are looking more grown up daily. My mixed salad box is a little unhappy with the heat this week, but I keep moving it into the shady spot so it's carrying on.

The sweet basil limps along, while the Thai basil continues to grow faster than I can use it all.

Garlic chives proceed in the manner of normal chives - leave 'em and let 'em do their thing - and I've planted three new organic California garlic cloves from the supermarket, which both came up faster than the previous generic store garlic and have much wider greens to boot. About five of the Japanese bunching onions are starting to look like proper scallions; I'm thinking of leaving at least two of them to self-propagate when they get big enough.

The thyme plant quit. I got rid of the spider mites but it, like all the other woody herbs I've brought into my home (sage [four times!!], oregano [twice!], rosemary), developed what I am pretty sure, after many hours of research, is rhizoctonia fungus and gave up (despite dutifully applied Actinovate.)

But Tiny Tim Tomato is in his (rather unexpected!) second flowering, so I have high hopes of a cucumber-and-tomato salad soon.

I must say I'm surprised that the fruiting plants are doing so much better indoors than the bulk of the herbs.

El

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Re: Indoor Container Garden - City Living

Post  Megan on 9/25/2010, 4:32 pm

Sounds fantastic, E, I'm so happy to hear your garden is growing well! Very Happy

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Re: Indoor Container Garden - City Living

Post  Bethany83 on 10/19/2010, 2:27 pm

Why did you put DE on your dill? I wouldn't even know what it is except I've been looking into getting chickens and its something they mentioned for preventing diseases in the chickens. I also learned its one of the main causes for the honeybee decline.

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Re: Indoor Container Garden - City Living

Post  El on 10/19/2010, 6:07 pm

I put DE on all the plants, actually, because we're indoors so I'm not worried about bees, and because NYC is very prone to fungus gnats. They come in through the teeny holes in the window screens and make themselves at home, and DE is one of the things that keeps them under control.

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Re: Indoor Container Garden - City Living

Post  Megan on 10/19/2010, 6:33 pm

@Bethany83 wrote:Why did you put DE on your dill? I wouldn't even know what it is except I've been looking into getting chickens and its something they mentioned for preventing diseases in the chickens. I also learned its one of the main causes for the honeybee decline.

I've never heard that diatomaceous earth caused colony collapse. We have a few apiarists here on the forum, maybe one of them could speak to this?

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Re: Indoor Container Garden - City Living

Post  acara on 10/19/2010, 7:43 pm

Also "DE" is not "DE" ...... huge difference in the chemically processed stuff & the naturally occuring stuff.

Natural DE has been in everything from toothpaste to foodstuffs for the last 30 years..... but the chemically treated/heated stuff wouldn't be cool in your body.

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Re: Indoor Container Garden - City Living

Post  Megan on 10/19/2010, 7:53 pm

Not to interrupt or anything, but, Acara, I finally figured out what your Avatar reminds me of: Takashi's tricycle race in Revenge of the Nerds. Love it! (Though I do realize that's not what you had in mind...)

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Re: Indoor Container Garden - City Living

Post  Old Hippie on 10/19/2010, 8:48 pm

@acara wrote:Also "DE" is not "DE" ...... huge difference in the chemically processed stuff & the naturally occuring stuff.

Natural DE has been in everything from toothpaste to foodstuffs for the last 30 years..... but the chemically treated/heated stuff wouldn't be cool in your body.

I thought that diatomaceous earth was ground up fossilized algae called diatoms. I don't get how it would be responsible for the collapse of honey bee colonies.

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Re: Indoor Container Garden - City Living

Post  acara on 10/19/2010, 9:03 pm

It is, until the pool/filtration industry gets ahold of it & chemically treats and heats the material ....which yields a totally different animal

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Re: Indoor Container Garden - City Living

Post  El on 10/19/2010, 9:57 pm

Right. And for the sake of clarity, I'm using natural food-grade DE to deter the gnats.

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Re: Indoor Container Garden - City Living

Post  Old Hippie on 10/19/2010, 11:56 pm

I use it to keep the slugs at bay. It is the one thing that does seem to make a difference.

But I still don't understand about the bees. (honeybees that is, not birds and bees)

GK

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Re: Indoor Container Garden - City Living

Post  acara on 10/20/2010, 6:51 am

@Old Hippie wrote:I use it to keep the slugs at bay. It is the one thing that does seem to make a difference.

But I still don't understand about the bees. (honeybees that is, not birds and bees)

GK


DE (even the good kind) will irritate/take out bees unfortunately (it gets them when they are grooming), which is probably why the other poster is refering to. Most of the food grade DE is marked accordingly though & recommends not using the DE around the flowers where bees frequent.


HERE is a good article of DE from a Farm/Ranch distributor

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Re: Indoor Container Garden - City Living

Post  El on 11/14/2010, 12:41 am

So, things are coming along nicely. All the greens crops are doing well, strawberries look ready to flower any moment, and the Little Finger carrots have been taste-tested and approved. I will probably only get 8 of them from this pot, although I've planted more. The Orange Pixie tomatoes have just started to fruit, one green tomato on the bigger plant and flowers on both. My pepperoncini plants are really quite big, and the one in this room looks ready to fruit at any minute (I see the beginnings of something behind one of the flowers and am rooting for it loudly - yes, I am a little nuts).

The cucumbers are about tapped out (and succumbing to powdery mildew besides - which I'm not minding as they had quit putting out male flowers). I harvested approximately 8 of them, several of the others suffered due to insufficient pollination - but I did learn a lot from it and I think any cucumbers at all make it a successful experiment.

I bought a nice big lemongrass with a few roots at the store the other day and have trimmed the top and put it in a jar to build a bigger root system. The lemongrass I planted from seed is coming up nicely, considering how hard that is to germinate, but it will be a while before that's big enough to cook with and I was feeling impatient.

I have not yet bought, or needed, any kind of plant lighting. If anything I need to provide some light shade - the angle of the sun at mid-day is almost directly level with the windows and the plants are acting like it's noon at midsummer (with the temporary "wilting" when the light is too bright and the subsequent recovery as the sun starts to recede). I'm debating what the next step is - do I put up some fine net for a little shade, and experiment with plant lights for late evening, or leave it alone and see how it goes? For now I'm feeling pretty "leave it alone," since the Orange Pixies are reaching for the ceiling, looking healthy and fruiting - they don't get leggy as long as I remember to turn them once a day.

I've stumbled across a downside to being able to grow food all year - the seed catalog. I've just put in an order for approximately 30 more seed packets, including radishes, kale, lettuces, sorrel, some more basil varieties (Thai hairy lemon basil! Dark Purple Opal!), pak choy, a couple different bush-habit cucumbers (one that's more PM-resistant than the Salad Bush I just finished), purslane, a couple different parsleys, borage and lovage. And, bravely I think, Minnesota Midget melon seeds.

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