Veg*n Cooking and Other Random Musings: Garden Update #24

Monday, September 15, 2008

Garden Update #24

The food we gave the plants last weekend really seemed to be helping - then came the cool temperatures and all the rain. I hope folks out there experiencing the flooding and wind that are the aftermath of the latest hurricane are doing alright. Being in the Midwest, we don't have to worry about direct hits by hurricanes, but the ones that hit the gulf send us their rain and wind.

Anyways, with all the moisture we've had, things are fairly slow going - but that is better than regression. All the plants (including the poblano!) have a lot of new growth on them. Oh, and some aphids too. The cool, moist weather seems to have allowed for a resurgence in aphid activity. Nothing too bad, but we don't have any predators around "taking care of them" right now, so it has been up to us.

On a slightly irritating note, the apartment complex has decided they want to power wash and stain all the decks. They left a note on our door indicating that this would be starting on Monday (today), but we have a fairly large complex, and the neighboring complex is owned by the same company, so we're not entirely sure when they are going to be working on our building, or how long it will take to complete. Why is this annoying? Well, we have over 12 plants housed on our porch along with a couple of patio chairs and a table. All of which had to be migrated inside yesterday after the photo shoot of the container garden. The plants are taking shelter in the computer room right now. It's a jungle in there. While I am happy they are trying to do things to make the complex better, it is just an inconvenient time.

We did as best as we could getting all the aphids off before we came in - we wanted to avoid them getting on our indoor winter crops, but I'm not sure that will happen now. How do you rid indoor plants of aphids? Well, you use the 'ol cayenne/oil solution and they spend a lot of time in the shower so as to not drip all over the carpet. Now why did I want an indoor garden again? ;-)

One day this week - perhaps today, we will be breaking down, going to the store, getting all the pots we are going to need, lots of organic soil, lots of worm castings, and getting a cab home. I hate taking cabs, but worm castings are heavy and we've been having to make multiple small trips to the store and haven't been able to get much in the way of needed supplies home. By taking the cab, we can get it all done at once, and then I can start transplanting as things are ready. As it stands right now, we don't have enough pots or soil for that to happen. Not to mention, I would like to get my work "tea garden" going fairly soon.

Anyways, let's start with the indoor container garden.

Here is a "group picture" of most of the starts. The Hammond (with protection from dripping water) has been a great "plant stand".

Some basil poking through.

The second pot of basil and a pot of catnip sprouts.

A couple of sprouts from the second pot of catnip. If you wonder why it seems like we leave so much room in the pots it is because we need to leave room for worm poo. It is a thick substance similar in consistency to soil; it's not a liquid, so we have to account for that.

The cayenne starts are going strong. They are about ready to be transplanted.

A couple of pictures of one of our two jalapeno starts. It too is large enough to be transplanted.

A picture of the second jalapeno start. Again, ready to be transplanted.

One container of One Ball Squash. These guys are ready to transplant, and man, they are doing well so far.

The second container of One Ball Squash starts. This container of starts is going nuts, and doing even better than the previously pictured starts.

These One Ball Squash are doing so well that they already have blooms on them! Wahoo! We are going to transplant these as soon as it is dry enough outside. We'll be using the pot that the sad attempt at broccoli was grown in. We're thinking that we'll plant two in that big container, and probably one in a small container. Now we just have to think of something it can be trellised with inside. Any ideas?

The tomatillos, still doing well. One of them is leaning over though.

I forgot to get a picture of the mini bells. They have progressed about as far as the cherry bomb peppers have, except they are leaning over like the tomatillo in the background above. We're not sure why they are doing that. We've removed them (and the cherry bombs) from the hot house to see if that will help.

We're still waiting on the cilantro to start. If it hasn't started by mid next week, we'll sow some new seeds.

We're still waiting for the organic spinach seeds to arrive. We'll probably start the first round of kale, chard, and greens in a week or so.

So the hard part of winter gardening is about to begin. Where to put all these guys?!

Speaking of winter gardens before I move on to the container garden, we will be bringing the jalapeno, second year serrano, and cayenne pepper inside for the winter to try to keep them producing at best and to have them for next year's container garden at the very least.

Onto the container garden.

An aphid hanging out on one of the plants. They tend to colonize around new growth.

A bunch of blooms on the waterlogged banana pepper plant.

A bad picture of a cayenne pepper.

A chocolate bell pepper. This guy is growing a bit gnarly, eh?

A couple of pictures of the Hungarian Wax plant. After all the effort this plant spent on producing blooms all it has grown has been that large pepper (that still isn't ripe!), but since we fed them, a new little guy is going.

Stubby and fat jalapenos!

A couple of pictures of the petite bell. Now, this plant isn't kidding about the "petite" part, the ripe pepper you see in the first picture is about the size of a small acorn!

Serexican Chiles.

A fairly pointy serrano (on the second year serrano plant).

Some of the many blooms on the serrano. Not sure if you can tell or not, but one of the blooms in the background is covered with aphids. They were "taken care of" after the picture was taken.

All in all, not a lot of work in either of the gardens this week. I had to water the indoor starts once, and the container garden work consisted of trying to keep the plants from drowning in all the rain!

I'll end this post with a cute kitty picture I managed to snap the other day.

Gabby enjoying getting pet by Brett. She is such a sweet kitty. Not very smart, we'll admit, but sweet. And with her tiny little head, she'll always look like a kitten (she's 4!).

'Til next time.


VeggieGirl said...

No worries, your garden was (and still looks) fabulous!! Remember, my garden never had a chance to flourish with the weather here, so I'm enjoying your garden through your experiences :0)

Gabby is a cute one!! :0)

jessy said...

thanks for another garden update, Jennifer! that stinks having to move all the pots to and fro! at least you'll have a squeaky clean porch!

i'll keep my fingers crossed that the cilantro sprouts - and that the aphids find new plants to bother. man, they're such little pest! i think the chocolate pepper looks like neat growing all funky! :)

hooray for gardening and all those shades of green!

Laura said...

yes! we should get together sometime for baking! lemme know!

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Veggie Girl - I'm sorry your garden succumbed to the weather. It's been a pretty strange summer for us Midwesterners hasn't it? We've been lucky here too, it has put a damper on some things, it was too wet or cool for some stuff, but we did better than folks in other areas.

I hope the weather is better next year, it has to stink not gardening.

She is, isn't she? :-)

Jessy - No problem, they are a little more manageable now that I'm not "reporting" on three gardens. Whew!

Hey, I look at it this way, I'm making the apartment greener, and apparently giving the aphids a chance to live over winter, on our plants.

They are pests. Luckily they have no interest in carpet, the kitties, or us. But they do like our plants and that is no good. If we get aphids on the indoor things, we'll try to "take care of it" quickly before it gets too bad. We're keeping a close eye on it this time.

You should see our computer room, it's insane, you have to fight to get to the PC desk. And then watch what you do with the chair. Thank someone for laptops!

Laura - You could probably teach me some valuable lessons about baking. I can make cookies, and cupcakes - but can't ice the cupcakes, I make a mess and then rip the cupcakes. Let's not even talk about icing cakes or doing any sort of decorating. And complicated stuff? Forget about it! I'd be keeping my fire extinguisher near by. Any of those arts or skills that require very fine motor skill are not for me.

Catherine said...

I envy your porch, container gardening, and efforts! I think Oliver would pretty much munch on anything I tried to grow here -- that, or knock it over! Gah. I'll stick to the co-op and the Farmer's Market for now.

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Catherine - Aw, I wish you had space/time or whatever your constraint is to be able to garden!

We are concerned about Gabby and Nermal terrorizing the indoor plants, and are taking as many steps to mitigate that risk as possible. Heavy pots, very well anchored at that; things wedged in corners and areas that are difficult to knock over and make a big soily mess on our carpet. Oh, and we have 2 pots of catnip going, a pot of fully grown wheatgrass that has just been transplanted, and a pot of a mixture of wheat, oat, and barley grass started as "kitty fodder". We are hoping that those things will be of more interest than our food crops.

Hey, we still have to go to the farmer's market too. There is no way we could grow everything we want/need on our porch and in a small community garden plot. They have great stuff there!