Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Aerogarden Tomato

Hope everyone had a good holiday weekend. It was also my birthday this past weekend, so it was nice to have an extra day off. The weather was beautifully sunny, which was much appreciated, but temperatures in the upper 80s with very high humidity made for a very sweaty weekend.

The poor outdoor plants were torn. The tomatoes are taking off and loving this hot weather, but the kale and chard are not happy campers. We actually harvested some of the kale (photos to come) and had it for dinner with our cookout last night. So good!

But today's post is about an indoor plant - my Aerogarden tomatoes.

There's nothing like a homegrown tomato and even these Aerogarden ones taste delicious, but I think the plant may be reaching the end of its life. I'm hesitant to end it, but J wants to rip the whole thing out and get started on something new. His bigger Aerogarden currently has some jalapeno peppers in it, so I think he wants to get the golden cherries going in mine to make some salsa.

You can see that the growth on it is getting a little straggly and it hasn't grown much in a few weeks. The leaves at the bottom are brown and dead, they probably should be snipped.

This photo is from about a week ago. Those tomatoes were great on salads, but the green ones already turned and we had those this past weekend.
I think tomatoes are just so pretty!
So there's the photographic ode to the Aerogarden tomatoes. Something tells me J's going to get his way pretty soon and I'll be washing out an Aerogarden this week. I'm interested to see how the root system looks!

Saturday, May 28, 2011


And now the answers to yesterday's guessing game!

#1 is...summer squash

#2 is... basil

#3 is... strawberry

#4 is... kale

#5 is... swiss chard

Did you get them all?

Are you growing them all too?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Guess the Leaf

Last week I put up a post and had you guess the plant by its flower. In all honesty, they were pretty easy. Last weekend (seriously, where has this week gone!?) I was out in the garden and noticed how pretty the leaves of a lot of my plants are.
So let's try another guessing game. Guess the plant by its leaves! I'll post the answers tomorrow.

The past few days here have been hot. Not just warm, but hot! I don't think my cool weather plants, like yesterday's kale, are loving it. But that just means now I get to eat them before it gets too hot and they bolt. Where did that term come from anyway? It seems so odd.

Lots of plans for the weekend. The place I work closes at 3pm on Fridays in the summer, and that starts this week and we have Monday off for Memorial Day... though I like to think we get the day off to honor my birthday, which is Sunday.

My garden is mostly planted for the year, but I promise to get some good photos of it. It's difficult because the deck is only so big and there's no place to stand and get a photo that isn't covered with a container filled with vegetables, or fruit.

I'll also attempt to get a photo of the garden I created here at work too!

Anyone have fun plans for the holiday weekend?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Kale Forest

My kale started off not looking so good earlier this year, but it finally took off a few weeks ago when the cold, wet weather started. It must like that because now the corner of my balcony is a kale forest!
How do you know when it's ready to harvest and eat? It looks delicious!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Spring is such a great time of year. There's new growth everywhere, things are blooming, baby animals are out and about, and it seems like a great time of year to take some cuttings from my indoor houseplants.
The spider plant my mom gave me when I moved has gone totally insane. I attribute it to the liquid seaweed I gave it, and I haven't given it any since. (I'm afraid it will grow legs and start wandering the apartment.) There's a TON of little babies at the end of shoots, but I took the biggest one and put it in some water, with a little bit of liquid seaweed since the plant seems to love it so much) and set it under the plant light. I'm planning to put this one in the kitchen when it gets bigger.The golden pothos is the other plant I took a cutting of. It's been taking over the mantle, which I love, but the original pot is looking a bit bare, so I'm hoping to put it back in there to fill out the pot a bit.
Besides my african violet (I actually just typed "african violent" by accident, but I'm pretty sure it's a peaceful plant), those are the only two "traditional" house plants I own. If I were to add to my collection, what would you recommend?

Oh, and what I'd really love for my cuttings is one of these. How cool is that?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Shhh... don't tell the others

I just commandeered a plot here at work. I didn't really ask, I just threw my leftover seedlings in. 3 tomatoes, 1 pepper, 3 summer squash and 4 bush delicata squash.
I'm hoping no one notices and rips them out, or realizes it was me and gets me in trouble.
I feel like a guerrilla gardener!
Photos to come...

Avocado Pruning

My avocado pits are finally showing signs of growth. I planted the pits several months ago, but they're finally taking off. Not really sure what I'm going to do with all of them. Anyone want an avocado?

So first the pit splits and you can start to see the shoot.

Then it comes up as this sad little oddly colored shoot that's just totally straight.

After it's grown a few inches (about 9" or so) and has some leaves you have to do the hardest thing to it. You have to chop it off!!! I couldn't bring myself to do it, so I made the heartless J cut it.

The pruning will help it branch off and be healthier, I realize this, but it still breaks my heart to hurt my plants.

I'll feel better when it starts growing back.

Monday, May 23, 2011


Way back in February I bought an elephant ear bulb and put it in a pot in the living room. For months it just sat. There was absolutely no action going on that I could see. About two weeks ago I had given it all up as a lost cause, so I dug up the bulb. To my shock there was quite a bit of root structure!

I'm not sure if the plant was angered by my uprooting of it, or if it was indignant in my lack of faith, but about 6 days after my attempted planticide, it started growing. And now it's really going good!These leaves are tiny compared to what I'm expecting out of it, but they're very pretty! I'm hoping to get lots of growth out of it so that it will fill the pot.

Does anyone else have an elephant ear plant?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Nasty Gnats!

The moistness of the banana plant's soil is attracting some pretty serious gnats. I hate them. With a passion. I may run around the house randomly clapping like a seal at the aquarium just trying to send them to their graves.

But that makes me look bizarre. So I'm trying something new. It's apple cider vinegar in a bowl. Supposedly they're lured in by the smell and then they land in it, but that's when the tiny bit of dish soap I mixed in gets them and they're stuck and they die horrible horrible deaths. Ah ha ha ha ha ha. Wow, that's a lot of anger towards something the size of a large pencil dot.

I'm hoping it will work. If it doesn't, do you have any better ideas?

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Look at these stamps from the US Postal Service!
They're a little bigger than normal stamps, but I couldn't pass them up.
How many things on the "list" do you do?
I try to do all of them, but I do have a really leaky bathroom sink, and some of them I have to do because I don't own a car. It's not really a conscious choice (Have you seen how much parking and car insurance are in Boston?! I almost passed out!) as much as a necessity, but I figure I'm helping to offset the carbon footprint I'll one day create when I do own a car.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Signs of Food

Let's play a guessing game.

Between the greenhouse and pulling the plants indoors every night to stay warm, I seem to have tricked them, and they're blooming already.

(Ok, one should be blooming now, there's a hint.)

Can you guess what kind of plants put off each of these flowers?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


The weather here is disgusting. Words like "chilly", "November", and "horrible" were thrown about willy nilly at work today. And it's my fault. I'd like to apologize to anyone in the Greater Boston area for the 10 day forecast - which includes rain, showers, overcast, scattered thunderstorms, and more rain along with temperatures ranging from 50 degree nighttime lows to 55 degree daytime highs. I took the plastic insulation off the windows and put my gloves and scarves away this past weekend, obviously forcing the weather to revert to late fall crappiness. So please accept my apologizes.Anyway, since the weather is so gross, I thought I'd add some color to our lives with some photos of the azalea outside my front door. These photos were taken last weekend when there was this thing called sun in the sky.

Monday, May 16, 2011


This tomato was starting to bust out of the mini-pot I put it in so it was time to re-pot.

We're supposed to get rain and 60 degrees for the next week, so we'll see how the garden goes. More updates coming soon this week.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Plot of Land

Thanks for all the enthusiasm about the "plot of land" my landlord offered. I wish I was as enthusiastic as you. I may have oversold it in my last post.

It's about a 1' by 6'' piece of land shoved between two multi-story houses and a garage. I've been watching it the past few days at different times of day and the best sun situation is around noon when it gets the reflection off the neighboring house, which is technically just a reflection off the window of our house.

It's also interesting because further toward the street on this strip of land there's lots of hostas that seem to do pretty well, but they have quite a bit more sunshine.

Here's a photo. I didn't have time to take one, so this is from Google Earth. It must be from before we moved in, but there's plants on the deck, so the tenants before us must have gardened too! Do you see that tiny, very faint red circle I drew on the photo? Kind of in the dead center of the photo? Yeah, that's the "plot of land" he was so kind to offer.

And this gives you a better idea of how big our deck is. Ok, so deck might be stretching it. It's a glorified balcony. But we plan on filling it to the brim. :)

I'm hoping to take some more photos soon. It's been rather cool and rainy here. Not great for gardening and not great for working on my final exam - the rain just makes me sleepy.

Hope the weather is better for you all!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


I was out this past weekend when our landlord stopped by to drop off a lease renewal. While he was here he mentioned to J that there's a tiny spot of land out by the garage that we can plant in if we'd like. He offered since he said "It seems you like gardening."

I can't imagine what might have given him that impression!

I think maybe people are starting to notice our ever-growing plant collection.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Apple Issues

I came home on Friday and went out to look at all my plants and found a very unwelcome visitor!

Does anyone know what this is and how to get rid of it? So far I've just been pulling any worm I see off the plant and then disposing of it in a method that is far more violent than it probably needs to be.

I've read that spraying plants with a soap water solution will help, and that you can add cayenne pepper and/or garlic. Has anyone tried that?

Other than the "guests" the apple looks really good I think!

Friday, May 6, 2011


So I work full time in higher ed and I'm a part time graduate student so the last week of classes is pure insanity for me. Not only does the office get busy this time of year with commencement and retiring faculty receptions and graduating student receptions and honors banquets and did I mention the fiscal year ends 5/31? So yeah, this past week has been CRAZY at work. Not to mention I had a final exam on Wednesday and another coming up on Monday.

That's a long way of saying no post today. I am headed to a "Garden Party" this afternoon here on campus. It won't be as cool as my garden. I bet they'll only have flowers and no edibles. But they probably will have champagne. Hmmm... that might make it better than my garden.

Have a great weekend!! It's supposed to rain here, but that means I don't have to carry heavy watering cans out to my porch, so that's fine with me!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Dana's Porch is Falling Down...

The season hasn't even fully begun, but our porch is already getting crowded. J is worried that there won't be room to grill - GASP! We planted a few tomatoes, but it's still getting down to about 45 degrees at night, so we pull them into the house at night.
Between the in and the out and watering and soil moving and everything else, gardening is turning out to be a real workout! I can't imagine how it would be if I was doing more than just a few containers on my porch - scratch that, a LOT of containers on my porch.Our apartment is on the top floor of an older home, so I'm just hoping that our porch stays attached to the house all summer. And if it decides to make a break for it, I certainly hope we're not on it! :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Even more fruit!

Our apartment is quickly becoming a fruit tree orchard, but that hasn't stopped me from adding to the collection.

The newest additions include a lime, a pineapple, a passion fruit, and an apple. Who knew that limes were thorny? I pulled the lime tree out of its box and stabbed myself!

The passion fruit showed up and looked pretty pathetic, but it's really started to take off! It grows by the hour and sends off shoots that cling to everything and make the cutest curly-q's.

The pineapple was similar to the passion fruit, showing up looking sad, but it's throwing off a few new leaves.

And the apple seems to be thriving on the porch and has lots of new leaves.

All of these are in 12'' pots with regular potting soil and are being watered regularly and I have some fertilizer on the way.

Oh, and the banana plant is putting out new leaves too. We should be making fruit salad soon! :)