Tuesday, August 5, 2014

balcony garden/update 02


Houston, we have vegetables!

Well, ok. That's not technically true. What we have is the for-real beginnings of some soon-to-be tomatoes and one honest-to-goodness eggplant. BUT STILL. Seeing as how it's been three months since I haphazardly threw a bunch of seeds into a few pots of dirt, I consider this some serious progress.

Regarding the tomatoes: I have three different pots of plants. Two are filled with stalks that I replanted when the original pot got overcrowded, the third is full of the initial plantings. I'm not sure why, but that third, original pot is doing the worst of them all. The stalks are short, the leaves are kind of pitiful, and there's no sign of a tomato. The other two pots, however, are delivering a bounty handful smattering smidgen of fruit! There are currently three little green orbs fighting their way to fruition, and I couldn't be more proud of my little pomodori ;)


The eggplant is thriving. Granted, I was gifted this plant from a farmer-friend, so I can't take full credit for its' prosperity. But I did receive it before there was even the hint of a vegetable, so the fact that I nurtured this guy to near-edibility is pretty impressive. I'm not 100% sure when he'll be ready for picking, but I feel like a good Google search should generate that answer.


In other plant-related news, I inadvertently propagated one of my succulents! Apparently this is an actual thing (see: herehere, and here), but I only discovered it after an arm (leg?) fell off one of my succulents. J had been watering them (like all good parents, we give them a bath in the kitchen sink on Wednesdays and Sundays) and a little piece fell right off. I felt so guilty about the dismemberment that I couldn't bring myself to throw the arm away, so I put it on the surface of the dirt in which I was growing oregano outside. Women's intuition? A mother's love? A potentially innate ├╝ber green thumb? Whatever it was, I unintentionally aided in the regrowth of a succulent, because in order to propagate them, you need to pull off any extra growth and lay them on top of some dry cactus soil. The soil I used was neither dry nor cactus (it's been pretty rainy in the northeast and I wouldn't know a cactus if it poked me in the face), but after about six weeks, the little arm started growing some new, um, arms!


I finally put the oregano out of its' misery and moved the succulent to his own home. Following the advice of people who actually know what they're doing (better late than never), I carefully removed the leaf and placed it on top of some new soil. He has since rejoined his brothers and sisters on the window ledge in our kitchen.


My other succulents are doing shockingly well. They're actually starting to get a bit overgrown (I've had to "stake" them using extra chopsticks from last week's beef and broccoli), but I'm not sure if I'll be able to foster any more propagation, simply because I'm running out of both room and time. I love my apartment, but it sure isn't set up to house a greenhouse full of succulents (I think I'm testing J's patience with the four vegetable, three herb, and now six succulent plants we currently host). And weather-wise, it may be hard to believe but cool fall mornings are on the horizon, and I don't want to harm any new plants by exposing them to harsh conditions. So until then, I get to just marvel at the private Jurassic Park that lives in my kitchen.


They grow up so fast ;)


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