It's been just over a month since I planted the vegetable and herb garden out on my patio/glorified fire escape and I thought I'd fill everyone on the successes and challenges of the garden. Here's the overview:
Best performers thus far: sweet basil, green onions and tomatoes.
Doing so-so: radish and peppers.
What happened?!: cilantro.
1. Heat. On one side its been great to have the sun shining on a daily basis, but after working in a greenhouse all day, there were definitely a few days I came home and realized that I had completely forgotten to water the plants! Just look at the radishes in the photo that have curled up and died, burnt to a crisp. One thing to keep in mind is to water early in the morning. Think of water as the "breakfast of champions" for plants. Having moisture available first thing in the morning helps jump-start photosynthesis after the evening hiatus. Watering in the middle of the day can also burn the leaves if water droplets are left on the leaves.
2. Poor germination. The cilantro we purchased didn't germinate, even after the two week period that is normally required for the herb. I sowed some new seed just last week, so we'll see how that turns out. Proof that over seeding is never a bad thing in container gardening, and that reading up on your varieties beforehand can be helpful.
3. Pesto is hard to make by hand. Don't try to make pesto with a hand chopper that you have to power by hand. My OXO chopper is now dull from all the pounding and chopping I did to make 1/4 cup of pesto last week. I immediately that night went to Bed Bath & Beyond that night and purchased the food processor I had on our wedding registry. This kitchen essential can't wait til October.
How are other gardens going? A customer of ours has developed with us an "herban garden" urn to sell this summer at their store, with provides 5 different culinary varieties of basil in an 8" rice hull urn. Hanna, my friend in Nashville who has become pretty successful at tending her heriloom begonia and growing herbs from her kitchen, planted some peppers and tomatoes pretty late in the season (end of May/beginning of June) as a trial to see if the plants will still bear fruit in time for summer. I've spoken with some gardeners who have been testing the Topsy Turvy Tomato Grower - I still don't think it works, but if it get's people to start gardening I suppose it's a start. Have successes or challenges of your own? Let me know!
Plant on and rock on,
Song for the Garden: No One Does It Like You - Department of Eagles