26 June 2010

Signs of plant life: garden update

Since my worm bin is still not ready to harvest, I bought some complete organic fertilizer to try to resuscitate some of my crops. I also pruned the most diseased-looking leaves from my tomato and bush bean plants.

The bean leaves seem to be recovering quite nicely, but the tomato plant's leaves are still somewhat sickly, though it is producing healthy-looking fruit.

This is the second of my three tomato plants. I'm not sure what's going on here. The plant seems to be stuck in a stunted mode, and its leaves are rather yellow. The pathetic little basil transplant I bought, on the other hand, is now amazingly lush. It's bigger than the tomato plant!

I'm also growing pickling cucumbers surrounded by a ring of dill. On the right is my bin of lettuce and carrots. The lettuce has been harvested several times and is still looking healthy, despite the wretched heat of the last two weeks.

I'm quite excited about the strawberry plant. Last week, I went outside in the morning, and it looked as if it had melted. I watered like crazy, and that must have worked because the leaves recovered beautifully and several strawberries are ripening. The pot on the right is filled with a bush cucumber plant, radishes, and red-leaf lettuce. All look good (for now).

You can see half of my carrot and chive pot and tomato pot in this picture (the lettuce bin is in the background), but I mostly wanted to point out the potato and onion pots. The potato plants were among the most vigorous of my crops. They have flowered and are now wilting, which is supposed to be a sign that it's time to harvest potatoes. But, when I dug around in the dirt, I felt nothing. I'm a bit puzzled, but I'm going to continue to water for a couple more weeks before stopping to let the dirt dry out. The onions (in the foreground, planted with marigolds) are also starting to wilt, so I will need to dig around to determine their size as well.

The herbs are looking good, for the most part. I pruned some brown leaves from the parsley (far left), which I think is struggling in the heat. The oregano, thyme, and cilantro all look vibrant and healthy. I transplanted some dill - you can see it in the background, peeking out between the cilantro pot and the thyme. After I purchased it, I read that dill does not like to be transplanted, and, believe me, it shows. So, I also started some dill from seed.

I'm also growing batches of radishes in various pots. Some have bolted, but most look good. My pepper plant (which I forgot to photograph) finally seems to be growing. I think the fertilizer helped.

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