My Tomato Tree Weirdness

IMG_0956My tomato plant has turned into a tomato tree. I’m not really sure how to get it to stop growing up and to start producing tomatoes. The leaves at the bottom have all died and the flowers at the bottom have dried out. I’ve been watering the plant several times a week so I don’t see how it could be dry. Anyways, I’m open to advice 🙂 IMG_0957 IMG_0954 IMG_0948My cucumbers are doing so well! I can’t believe B-rad and I brought them back from the brink of death. I already have planned lamb burgers with tzatziki sauce for this week. If anything, I’m excited I got one of the three plants to produce.  IMG_0952 IMG_0955My flowers are growing. I wish I had realized they needed bigger pots. I mean they are so long and taking everything over, I think they are more outside in the wild type flowers. They are beautiful though.  IMG_0953The watermelons are finally flowering. The bad news is they started growing slightly off the ledge of our porch to find the sun. Since the cucumbers have attached their vines to the railing and started also grow over the railing. My idea is to tie a sling from the railing once /if the flowers start turning into watermelons.  IMG_0958These two cuties, for no reason other than I love them ❤

“Look at the sparrows; they do not know what they will do in the next moment. Let us literally live from moment to moment.” – Mahatma Gandhi

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The Ups and Downs

I realized that I really enjoy updating this blog and I don’t do it enough. That I really don’t use my camera enough and it’s something that I enjoy doing and learning about. So I’m going to spend more time doing both and now onward.

In looking at my plants, I realized the watermelons were not really growing which is probably the only down with the plants I’m seeing. They weren’t doing bad but they aren’t growing in the same the cucumbers and tomatoes are. I started watching the sun and I’m thinking the cucumbers were blocking it. I flipped them around and they seem to be doing better. I also used some rods to encourage the cucumbers to grow up rather than taking over the whole planter. They have been growing crazy vines which makes it easy to have them grow up the rods.

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When we came back from vacation the flowers on the cucumber plant were turning into cucumbers! Very exciting! I’m guessing in a few weeks we should have some cucumbers.

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The tomato plant also has started to flower. It is also huge – it’s taller than I am. I don’t set the bar really high only being 5’0″ but still they are huge.

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Last update, some of the flower seeds I planted have started to bloom.

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The Cucumber Sadness

dying cucsThe day after transplanting, I came home to this. My precious cucumbers, shriveled up and sad. I’m blaming the tarp (and myself, but mostly the tarp). In my last post. I mentioned that I didn’t cut holes first, I put the plants in first. This was a huge mistake (but also the tarp’s fault, somehow).

IMG_0645I took the tarp off and put a sheet over all the plants. They were struggling with the sun, above are the tomatoes. I left the sheet over for a week.

IMG_0646As you can see, those three are the ones that have been surviving. I added more soil as well. They are definitely growing straighter and seem stronger than this picture. I think I saved them, at least 3 of the 5 anyway. IMG_0644

Lastly, the watermelons are fine. Of course they are, I was worried the most about them. Isn’t that always how it works out 🙂

“A person who never made a mistake is a person who never tried anything new.” Albert Einstein

Thriving seedlings

IMG_0628My mini-watermelons are coming along just fine. Three of the five have started growing and I definitely consider that a success. They have finally reached the top of the bag.  Their second leaves are coming in.

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This little guy came up late. The seed is still on there 🙂 All five cucumber seeds sprouted which is exciting.

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Most of the cucumbers are starting their third leaves, except the little one. IMG_0633

Tomato seedlings have several leaves now. This weekend I’ll be heading to the garden store to get my city pickers planters and materials. We have chicken nugget the weekend I’m going to transfer them and he’ll have more fun planting than shopping – for some reason 5 year old’s find dirt more fun than a store. I’m also getting more seeds tomorrow, edible flowers and mixed greens. While I don’t plan on eating the flowers, I do want to have some flowers outside and options are nice.

We will eat watermelon!

 

IMG_0569After seeing my cucumber shooting out today, I crossed my fingers for watermelon seedlings. I should be happy – I have healthy tomato seedlings started and four out of five cucumbers are really growing now. But I want watermelon. I want sweet watermelon juice making my hands sticky and seeds I have to spit out/save for next year. I want cool refreshing watermelon on a hot summer day. Wonderful, organic watermelon. IMG_0573Enlarge the picture and look on the left and the right – do you see them!? They are pushing through (barely)! I think I planted four seeds, it might have been five. No matter because at least two are growing. The weather has been a little cooler that I’d like. While frost is not in the forecast, cooler temperatures can delay the growth. I guess sometimes you do get want you want.

“Life’s a garden, dig it.” unknown

Seedling Check-in

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My tomatoes are doing so well! They really seem to reaching for the sun, I’ve been turning them so they don’t lean to one side. I can’t wait for the summer and warm, organic tomatoes. B-rad loves himself some tomato sandwiches – toasted bread, salt and pepper, with some mayo; oh so delicious. Sometimes simple sandwiches are the best.

IMG_0562My cucumbers have started growing. I believe I planted five seeds, I’m hoping the fifth one will push through. It has been cold for us, I think that is why it is taking a bit longer to these guys to sprout. Maintaining the warmer soil temperature is a bit trickier than I thought. Fresh cucumber salads, on sandwiches, tsatziki for lamb burgers – I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.

My watermelon seeds haven’t pushed through yet. I hope those aren’t a bust – I’m excited for mini watermelons (but not too excited in case they don’t grow).

I’ve also ordered some flower bulbs. I think flowers on our front landing and back porch will brighten everything up. Plus fresh flowers smell wonderful and are easy to decorate with. I’m also planning some air purifying house plants. Many green things for the future.

“Gardening is cheaper than therapy and you get tomatoes.” Unknown

Starting an Urban Garden

When we went home for our wedding, we spent a lot of time visiting our moms who are both back east. B-rad’s mom (who actually introduced us) has the most beautiful garden. It’s filled with snap peas, tomatoes, herbs… I felt a little envious. We lived in an apartment with no yard of our own and I wanted fresh tomatoes.

This was an odd feeling, I have a black thumb – I killed our little succulent plant, which are one of the easiest plants to keep alive! Why was I jealous? I suppose it was a combination of waiting to be back where most people live in houses with real yards and not in an apartment and missing everyone, gardening can be a social activity.

In proving to myself that I wasn’t a plant killer, I read up on how to re-bloom an orchid. It worked. The orchid B-rad gave to me last year is about to bloom and I’m so excited. This research lead to research on how to grow an urban garden – I can do this!

IMG_0375I purchased a few seedling kits from Food52, they come in packs of three (links for everything are below). The tomatoes take longer to start, about 5-6 weeks before I can move them outside. The cucumber and mini-watermelon take 3 weeks. Above is the tomato kit.

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There are husks in the bottom of the bag for draining. Since there are no holes, the water will drain to them and then be re-absorbed as needed.

IMG_0377You poke some holes into the soil bag and then run water into the bag. Since you want the soil to be moist, you’ll squeeze the bag and the extra water will come out of those poked holes. IMG_0379Organic tomato seeds! Hopefully all three little ones grow. After you put the soil over the husks, you’ll plant these little guys about 1/4″ deep and spaced away from each other. Luckily, I can start these now because while we have some cold mornings here we don’t usually have frost. You’ll want to make sure in 5-6 weeks you are clear from frost. IMG_0380

You place a plastic bag over the top to create a bit of a green house. There are very detailed instructions that come along with the starter kits. I look forward to started up the cucumbers and mini-watermelons in a few weeks.

To move them outside, I’m going to use the City Pickers system. In doing my research, they seem easy to use and I like that they come on wheels which makes them easy to move around on our porch. I’ll post pictures once my seedlings are ready for it.

Links for purchasing the Potting Shed Creations Kits:

https://food52.com/shop/products/955-seed-starts

http://www.pottingshedcreations.com/

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” Aubry Hepburn