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11 June 2008 @ 10:52 pm
Garden update and questions  

I'm making a container garden for the first time this year. Some were started from purchased seedlings, but others have been started from seeds and need help, since I didn't know how many would germinate. I'm glad I planted too many -- my germination rate's been pretty bad. And yes, I know it's a lot of plants, but I have a family of six and hungry relatives and suspect I'll have a lower yield than normal due to iffy sunlight (I live next to a train which blocks all light for several minutes of every hour) plus pollution (I live in NYC, zone 6B) and the rapid drying out that comes with container gardening, though I added polymer crystals and have some self watering pots to try to help avoid that if possible.

So far, I have:

One topsy turvy with two german cherry tomtato plants
One self watering hanging planter with a third german cherry tomato plant (number 4 is going to go to my mom)
One medium sized trash can with two windowbox roma tomatoes that are huge and gorgeous and starting to flower but I think it's still too soon so will be pinching off the flowers
One small pot with a third windowbox roma tomato (this one went into soil later than the other two, so it's still small, but looks healthy... and number 4 of these went to my mom's pile of pots)
One medium sized trash can with some sort of multicolored indeterminate slicing sized tomato plant that a friend gave me which I planted nice and deep and am watering but doesn't look so great
One smaller pot (probably will need to go into a trash can later if I don't kill it) with an indeterminate slicing sized tomato plant that the same friend gave me... it's looking healthy but small so far

About 20 dixie cups with red robin seeds thinking about germinating, those will go in hanging planters, I think maybe.
One self watering hanging plant with "WORLD'S SMALLEST TOMATO" which never germinated... but I keep watering it and hoping... though I may stick something else in and give up in a few more days

Two self watering hanging planters with Mexian mini gherkin cucumbers, started from seed and still fairly small ( plus one of these for my mom, if she ever picks up her darn plants!)
One small pot with multiple Mexican cuke plants starting, so I'll either have to transplant or thin, depending on how well they transplant (I ran out of soil so just stuck a bunch into the pot and probably have 10 plants started and there's only room for one or two)
One small pot with two bush salad cuke plants, one needs to be transplanted but it looks nice and healthy so I think it'll be ok

One self watering hanging planter with a bush zucchini plant that's growing like crazy and I'm kicking myself for only growing one pot of this... thinking about starting another one or two... maybe when I give up on the world's smallest tomato?

Nine dixie cups with a bushy short basil thinking about germinating, these will go into the pots with the red robin tomatoes, as they're about the same size and will cohabitate nicely

I also have a stack of empty cups impatiently waiting for me to buy more soil to start the bush sugar snap peas (which I know are likely to not survive in the heat, but I plan to put them in a shadier spot and baby them, I've got the seeds and waited too long... so why not try at least?) and hyacinth beans (same story, though they're hardier and will go in a less shady spot). I need to think of something good for the string beans (pretty ones with big purple flowers) to climb. Plastic twine maybe?

I am also ordering bare root quinault strawberry plants once it cools off a bit in a day or two, I'm torn between 50 and 100 plants. I'll be using hanging planters for those and if I run out, I'll do DIY hanging planters from cans.

I desperately wanted sweet and hot peppers, too, but didn't see any started plants I liked. Maybe if I do, I'll try to put those into dirt as well.

Plus whatever else grabs me before it's too late.

Now, I know it's putting the cart before the horse, but I have a question about extending the season for the everbearing strawberries and indeterminate tomatoes. If at the end of the season, before it gets too cold, if I put them indoors with grow lights (or what I was thinking was hanging them from the top of a tall closet with grow lights in it), how long will they continue to produce?

In addition to my previous post, I'm currently gathering information on the best plants to try to grow indoors over the fall and winter to help cut down on grocery costs. Any information on appropriate, cost effective lighting would help, too!

 
 
 
physics of a bicycle, isn't it remarkable?bicyclephysics on June 12th, 2008 03:10 pm (UTC)
i don't know the answers to most of your questions.
i just wanted to say that most people i know who grow zucchini end up with LOADS more than they want and try to pawn extras off on others :)
if you and your family love zucchini and have lots of recipes on different ways to prepare it, then you should probably plant a few more plants. if you think everyone might get sick of it, you might want to stick to only one or two.