Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Progressing quickly

This little radicchio plant is growing up the way I want it to. Inner leaves are curling and slightly red. I would like to see this one turn into a tight ball of red leaves like the radicchio I see in the grocery stores, but I just can't see it happening. Red leafed plants never grow that red for me. Lack of sun maybe, or something missing in the soil. Time will tell.

Never any trouble from my tomatoes but the one has a long way to grow. This brandywine is growing in the north corner of my balcony so it's still getting lots of shade throughout the day. Plants need to get tall in this spot to really see the sunlight. Cherry tomato plants in this part of the balcony grow well but I seem to remember not getting a lot of tomatoes from that last brandywine plant that grew here, although there might have been other reasons for that.

The tomatillos are doing well. No spidermites yet but I know they're coming. I have two plants like this in buckets and both have flowers open on them. Too early and cold to set fruit though. My night time temps for the past few nights have been around 10C and daytime under 20C.

And the cucumbers I transplanted last week are doing alright in their new homes. I tried two vines in each container last year but only one in each survived past the first month. I figured I would just go with what worked last year, although these are different cucumbers. With luck, these will be as tolerant to mildew as the Talladegas I grew last year. I find that anytime I try to grow a melon or cucumber that isn't marketed as mildew-resistant, I fail miserably. I've read that these Eureka cucumbers are the most disease resistant cucumbers you can grow so I don't expect any problems.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Off to a good start

I finally got my basil planted. I like to start it late, well past the risk of frost or a cool windy rainy night. Still lots of time for the plants in this container to get tall and bushy. I also got my cucumbers planted. That's another one I like to hold off on until the weather warms up.

I've grown celery in the past so for something different I'm growing celeriac this year. Those are the two scrawny plants in the left side of the container below. They don't look like much but they're actually growing fast. The two plants on the right are radicchio which is something I've never been able to grow right. This variety should form a small red head.

I also started a large container of dill and coriander. I'm not too sure how that will go. Hard to keep the spidermites and aphids off those. And of course, I have my tomato and tomatillos planted. I don't have much space to plant more but I have free containers and lots of potting soil so I'll likely have something else planted by the end of next week. Hard to resist that urge to plant in the spring once the weather gets nice.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Ready to plant

These little guys have been indoors for far too long. Three tomatoes, three tomatillos and three cucumbers. The tomatoes and tomatillos are ready to plant. Weather is certainly warm enough. The cucumbers can wait another week or two. I don't like to rush them.

Brandywine tomatoes I've grown so many times so I'm pretty confident I can plant just one and have tomatoes this season. I might not get many and I might have to wait time but I've gown them enough to be confident I'll eventually get a couple of big juicy tomatoes this year.

I haven't grown tomatillos for a long time. When I did, I had more than I knew what to do with them. Now I know what to do with them so it's time to grow more. I'm thinking I should plant some hot peppers as well, to make a nice green salsa. I can't remember the name of this particular hybrid. I'll plant at least two. They are a determinate so they shouldn't get crazy big like the tomato plants. I don't think these have perfect flowers so pollination might be a problem.

The cucumbers are a hybrid known as Eureka. A smaller cucumber that can be used for pickling or whatever. Apparently tolerant to lots of diseases. The plants are monoecious so I should get male and female flowers on each plant. I'll plant two containers this year, and likely two in each container like I did last year.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

End of the Season

I knew a week without water would be the end of my gardening adventures this year. The larger self-watering containers that had full reservoirs did ok, but this planter with tiny tom tomatoes and green onions couldn't handle the drought. Not enough rain last week. Not a chance. But there appears to be more at work here than just lack of moisture. The spider mites were starting to nibble away at some of the lower leaves and the plants were in a weakened state to begin with.

The Brandywine tomato plant is still doing well but hasn't put out any tomatoes. I started it too late and it's in a spot on the balcony that has never been all that great for tomatoes. Also, the cape gooseberry plants have shed most of their leaves and, I would say, are officially done. They each managed to put out a few fruits but the plants will be dead before they ripen.

Sounds like a horrible end to the season but all was not lost. My cucumber plants are withering too but I managed to pull this last harvest of cucs from the vines. The largest was 10.5 inches. We got lots of basil leaves this year and the plants are still putting out, despite being picked clear last week. And I still have some green onions.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The perfect balcony cucumber

The Talladega cucumber plants I planted are doing great and putting out lots of cucumbers. The last couple I picked were less seedy than the first ones. The biggest so far was 9 inches and tasted great. The plants are resistant to several diseases so I haven't been plagued with powdery and downy mildew like I have in the past with similar plants. But the spider mites have found there way onto the plants and are slowly increasing their numbers. I'll have to start spraying the plants down but considering it's August and I've already harvested some really nice cucumbers from the plants, maybe I won't bother.