Friday, July 11, 2014

hello July

Have we arrived a the dog days of summer yet?  Maybe it feels like to some, but I'm not sure we're quite there yet.  Give it time.  In the interim ...

Maybe someone could tell me how I got one massive GRAPE tomato plant growing in the middle of my planter?  I didn't plant any grape tomato seeds, buy a seedling or anything of the sort.  Maybe there were a couple seeds in some mulch I used when I first sowed the seeds (but I don't remember using any mulch!)?   But somehow or another, I've got one ginormous, bushy grape tomato plant just dripping under the weight of a lot of tomatoes.  Maybe some mysteries aren't supposed to be solved?  But as far as the rest of the tomatoes go ... things are right on time.  There should be a lot ready to be picked shortly.

I've just seen the first flower on one of the eggplants as well - always an encouraging sign!  And that basil ... wow.  Even though it had a bit of a slow start, it seems to be coming into its now right about now.  I've done two mini harvests with great success and if what I think I see is happening really comes to be, I'll be able to harvest a ton of basil in a week/ten days - fingers crossed.   Now about that    dill ... hmmmn ...

Until next time, enjoy the pix and check this song out:  John Grant

silver fir tomato plant with gobs
of flowers

grape tomatoes (!?)
lovely basil
eggplant flower

can't wait to pick these babies!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

slow and steady wins the race!?/ been a while

Yes yes yes, I have been remiss in posting - dragging my feet and distracted, but hey, better late than never, right?

So i thought instead of playing catch-up, I would just move forward and create some "prequel" elements to fill in the blanks.  As it goes, things are well.  Everything didn't work out as planned, some things just didn't grow, some are doing amazing and I have streamlined - I think i tried to take on too much.

The good news is that the tomatoes are rockin'!  I should be able to harvest a couple of the japanese black tomatoes within a week.  The silvery fir tomatoes are finally starting to come into their own; despite bird netting, the starlings got to two of the silvery fir plants but they survived and are now thriving.

I've had a great lettuce harvest this year ... almost too much and it is now down to the wire, as the rest should probably be harvested this week so it doesn't bolt.

The green beans seem to be doing well.  I have never grown bush beans which is what I've got this year.  I don't have many plants so I had a mini-harvest a few days ago.  Good flavor, slightly smaller beans so along with a small bit of dill, I pickled the bulk of what I picked.  There is at least one more round to harvest in a week or so but I am unclear as to how much more I will get after that, if any.  The dill is doing "ok" - let's see on that one.

The basil is also taking a bit longer than I wanted but along with the tomatoes, I think I should be able to harvest a fair amount by the end of this coming week along with some parsley.   Can you say caprese and some basil/parsley/almond pesto!?

Much much more to come.

In the interim, take a look at the pix and play this Robyn/Royksopp tune (Moby mix) over and over! "Do It Again"
And if you haven't got to see the Kara Walker exhibit at the Domino Sugar factory in Williamsburg ... do it now! Kara Walker

Friday, May 2, 2014

takin' the good w/the bad ... (or not so good)

Everything seems like it's stuck on "slow", stuck in netural.  Not sure what's going on.  All the "cool weather" crops seem to be struggling while the warm weather plantings seem to be bolting straight through to summer!

The radishes (leaves) still seem so small and undeveloped;  half the lettuce and spinach is barely sprouting while the handful of seedlings I started indoors have now finally started to really "grow".   Where are all the swiss chard sprouts?  All the stuff that got planted or moved outside is what is struggling even though we have definitely seen a slight moderation (ie warming) of temps (despite the monsoon we had a day or two ago).  It all seems to be a struggle this year ... not sure why.  Hopefully over the course of the next week, with a continued (though slight) warming,  these babies will really start bloomin'!

I started hardening off the tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers today as well.  I'll do that for a few days and hopefully get them all planted outside by mid/late next week.  I also had a mini harvest today - just some kale and mesclun.  Pickin's seemed slim, but it's a start and it's probably the earliest I've ever harvested anything!
Onward ...

And now the music bit:

'cause this show was really somethin' two days ago ... here are two vids from the Knife as well as the new vid from Semi Precious Weapons!

hardening off of eggplants, toms, peppers -1
hardening off of eggplants, toms, peppers -2

struggling mesclun

struggling kale

grow spinach, romaine, lettuce ... grow!

the wee early harvest - kale and mesclun

Friday, April 11, 2014

I did it!

who knew ...
I built this thing.
With its imperfections and all as you can see from the pics.
I only made two wee "design" mistakes (easily corrected) and only hit my thumb with the hammer once.

Now I just gotta get some brackets of various sorts and sizes, screw those in, fix that one little piece of wood missing at the far end and bob's y'r uncle!

I planned it out to be 8' X 31"H X 22" W - but it just looks ... big.  So I guess the tomatoes will be very happy this summer.

So the plan is to finish up those few things by next weekend, add some dirt, a little compost, mix, stir, wait two more weeks and get those peppers and tomatoes transplanted outside in early May.

In other news, today I saw the first few filigree of leaves for the lettuce, swiss chard, and spinach I planted outside two weeks ago.  That took a long time but then again, it's been cold!

In any case ... enjoy the pics and the music!  (not sure if I like this one yet) - new David Gray


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

I'm baaaaaa-aaaack ...

Right ... so it feels like I've been away for awhile ... I haven't ...  I've just been slow.

So the updates:  things are rolling along more  or less on schedule.  Lots of plants sprouting and growing.  Tomatoes and early greens are doing the best.  Lots of growth, about the size they should be, etc.

I have not had the same level of success with my hot pepper, onion, and eggplant seeds sprouting as I've had with my tomatoes, greens etc.  I have replanted these three on two separate occasions. The peppers seem to be happenin' now, a little behind but ok.  But only 2 out of about 10 seeds of my eggplants sprouted and the ratio is even worse on the onions!  Maybe the third time will be the charm(!?).  Other than that, my indoor plantings of swiss chard and basil seem to be on track too.

I made my first round of outdoor plantings last Friday ... lettuce, radish, carrots, more swiss chard, beans, and spinach.  I was a little concerned 'cause forecasts since then have more or less been a bit cooler than what I was hoping for and with lots and lots of rain.  But I guess that's exactly what these cool(er) weather crops need and want - cool and wet!  Fingers crossed.  Pics below are from this morning and nothing has sprouted yet, but hopefully by this weekend there will be a few shoots here and there.

I have started to harden off the lettuces, kale, and spinach I started indoors.  So far so good ... we've had days with temps in the lower 50's, and lower 40's by night with mixes of sun, cloud, and rain and it is working so far.  Depending on weather and time, the lettuce and spinach will be transplanted this weekend and the bins with the kale and mesclun will be moved to the roof.

The wood for the new planter has been ordered and should be delivered Friday.  Costs seem to be a little lower than I initially expected but let's see what happens when I actually try and put it together.  That's gonna test my mettle and possibly a few other things (my patience!? my tenacity!??) ... stay tuned for pics and info on that!

Now if only the weather would get a little better!

And since they performed last night and will again tonight ... please see below some Kraftwerk links and pics for your viewing and listening pleasure!

'til next time ...

ps - the indoor tomato plant continues to give and give and give ...
pps - the rose bush on the balcony is comin' in nicely!
pps - don't forget your bird netting!

Das Model - Kraftwerk
Music Non Stop - Kraftwerk
the rose bush comin' in nicely

kale and some spinach
swish chard sprouting

the last round of indoor tomatoes

tomatoes, basil, peppers, etc ... doing well!

more of the first round of the out-
door plantings
the first round of outdoor plantings, radishes
and carrots - nothin' to see here ... yet!
Kraftwerk NYC 1 April 2014

Kraftwerk NYC 1 April 2014

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Getting closer ...

The seedlings are here ... the seedlings are here!

A few short days after I planted my seeds, I started to see seedlings pop up.  First up, the lettuces - cos, romaine, and mesclun (natch!), then the kale, then some of the tomatoes (still waiting on a couple more).  I was really surprised how quickly the lettuce(s) came up ... 5 days - barely!

I am starting to get worried that I haven't seen any peppers, onions, or eggplant sprout up yet, but I have to keep saying to myself:  patience grasshopper.

I think I also see a wee spec of a basil plant or two coming up - I guess it will become obvious in another 2 or 3 days.  All this as we prepare for another (the last!??) winter storm to hit the northeast.  Hopefully that really will be it!  And I'm thinking I will plant radishes, swiss chard, and spinach the weekend of March 22 and then beans the weekend after.  I gotta get on (re)building my bigger planters for my tomatoes and eggplants, etc as well - the stacks of dirt and manure I bought don't look so good sitting in front of my door!

And for anyone who got the post title ... see video link below.  Also, Broken Bells was great last Friday (see also link below)!

Keep calm and plant on ... (sorry, I couldn't resist!)

Nitzer Ebb - "Getting Closer"

Broken Bells - "Holding on to Life"

mesclun in front, kale in back
my welcome mat!
tomatoes in front, cos and romaine in back

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Spring is nigh!

OK, well, it's done - gardening has started just in time for another late season storm scheduled to dump 6" - 10" on us.

It took a little longer than I expected and a little more space than I expected but round 1 plantings for 2014 is done.

I moved ahead with two types of tomatoes, 2 lettuce, mesclun, kale, onion, hot pepper, eggplant, and some basil.

I've never started so much so early.  Now it's just about water, sun, and warmth - let's see what happens!