Thursday, June 24, 2010

Inch by Inch, Row by Row - June Update

Two months after initial planting, I thought I'd check in to see how all of our endeavors were doing on the balcony.

Frankly, I'm surprised any of them have survived the past couple weeks with the insane storms we've been having lately! Just look at how creepily creepy the sky looked on Wednesday night of this week! I don't think we're in Kansas anymore. . . 
As a reminder, here's how our lil' lettuce plants started out in mid-April. 
We've been picking ever since mid-May, trying to add salads as a regular meal addition so the leaves don't get too wilty or bitter. I think I made a mistake by picking all of the bottom leaves first, creating top heavy stalks that keep falling over. I still have a lot to learn.
The basil and tomato seeds germinated for the first month indoors in our seed starter pack. I moved the tiny tomato plants to an available pot that we outfitted with a wireframe for the vines to climb once they get to that point. The first big rainstorm we had our little guys almost drowned because this pot did not have a hole in the bottom! Oops! Nothing a couple quick hits with cordless drill couldn't fix.

Here I thought our plants were lookin' good and on track and then I went up to visit my parents. They let us take home one of their extra tomato plants (a Roma variety, whereas ours are Cherry).  Apparently they had planted their seedlings around the same time as us, yet their plants were triple the size already! Her secret? A grow light over the seed starters. Next year I'm setting up our extra desk lamp and shining it brightly!
Our basil has also taken off since we re-planted them outside, but I do need to spread the good ones out a bit and have two pots going (or make up a couple to give away) before they get so big they crowd each other out.
My flower plants leave me scratching my head. I'm not sure when to expect some actual blooms, but the leaves have definitely been bringing themselves up. I give them another few weeks before I break down and buy some ready-to-transplant beauties at the garden shop.
A recent trip to Target outfitted me with some new gardening gloves so I don't get too full of dirt while working on the balcony. Some cute stuff on the displays in the garden section:
Here's hoping more than just the lettuce and basil will start producing for us this summer!

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