Saturday, February 22, 2014

Am I living in a box?

Well, yes, a glass box that is.

#1 on my list of requirements when I moved to my current apartment was sun.  And I got that spades - and it is bearing fruit!

I take my composting to the Greenmarket (Union Square) and then I rinse out the containers and water my indoor plants with the "rinse water".  Well, I've had random "compost remnant" seeds sprout in my potted plants before and I usually just pluck 'em and throw out (or back into composting).

A couple months back, I noticed a tomato plant growing out of one of these said potted plants and thought, "eh - just leave it."  And leave it I did and guess what?  It grew ... and Grew ... and GRew ... and ... well, you get the picture.

And on top of all that ... it bore fruit and continues to do so!  I have no idea what kind of tomato it is.  It is not one of the breeds I grew last summer.  The tomatoes are small-ish, about the size of a silver dollar, round (give or take an inch) and I've gotten 3 or 4 already and I have another 5 or 6 more on the way, it would appear.  They aren't the most flavorful tomatoes I've ever had but a nice and unexpected addition to the winter mix!

And last week when I cleaned up/swept up a bunch of dead leaves and branches, the smell of tomato (nightshade??) permeated my entire apartment, a temporary and neat little bonus!

Monday, February 17, 2014

they're here!

The seeds arrived over the weekend!

good stuff.

Now I just have to get a couple more bus tubs and in the next week or so start sowing the tomatoes, eggplants and peppers inside and wait ...

The days are already noticeably longer (there was a bit of twilight in the sky 'til about 6pm yesterday) and despite all this nutty weather we've been having in the northeast ... spring is nigh!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

a side note, orchids

So towards the end of last season, "someone" had left a very dried out looking orchid by my planters; leaves looked "eh", one leaf kinda burned, etc.

Not quite sure why but something my friend Bruce mentioned to me once was that orchids go dormant and that stuck out for me.  So I took in this abandoned, red-headed stepchild of an orchid in and did what I used to see Bruce do:  soak the whole plant/pot in water for an hour or so and then just ignore it.  (disclosure:  Bruce used to have a lot of orchids and he knew how to handle 'em)

So I soaked the orchid once a week and even bought some fertilizer.  I fed the plant a very watered down amount of fertilizer and lo and behold a new shoot and a couple new leaves sprouted!  Then about two months after the first soaking, buds started to appear and a couple weeks after that, they started to bloom.

All tolled (so?) I got 8 amazing flowers that have lasted well over one month!  Moral of the story:  looks can be deceiving.


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

So I decided to do a blog this year about this rooftop gardening stuff.   I've had a fair bit of success over the last 4, 5 years growing tomatoes, eggplants, basil, beans, lettuce(s), flowers, parsley so I thought I'd expand on it a bit this year.

I just finished ordering seed (gonna do it all "homegrown" again this year) so apart from the above, I'm adding carrots, kale, swiss chard, onions, radish, and frisee to the planting mix.  Am mixing up the beans, am trying color variations on the tomatoes; am expanding the space - more bus bin plantings (surprisingly, they work realy well particularly for plantings that don't require depth for root growth).  We will see how it goes.

I will be prepared for the birds this year though - ready at hand is the protective bird covering!  Last year they (I believe I can blame that invasive species, the starling - more on that in another posting) totally destroyed my initial plantings and I had to start from scratch.

In any case ... more later as this blog thing develops.  Like I said ... seeds have been ordered.  Am gonna buy a few more bus bins for the expanded plantings. And to keep you entertained in the interim I've included a few shots from last year!

See you soon ...