How I hang my lights

on Fri, 02/03/2017

A friend asked me today how I attach my lights to my shelves where I grow my seedlings.

The shelves themselves aren't solid - they're a grid. So I bought some s-biners and chain. S-biners are similar to a s-hook, except that they have a closure that you can open by pushing, just like a carabiner. This means I don't have to worry about bumping a light or chain and the hook slipping, causing the light to fall.

Seeds started

Well, I've started seeds for the 2017 growing season. I start with items that either take longer to grow or are those that like the colder temperatures, like some greens. This is different kinds of kale, lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. 

Seeds updated and store open!

on Tue, 01/03/2017

I've updated the listing of seeds that are available thus far for this year. I will be purchasing more seeds soon, which means additional plants will be available. I also plan on buying at least one pack of strawberry bare roots, which means I'll have strawberry plants available this year as well.

I just updated the store, so you can also do pre-orders through there. So if you're interested in doing a pre-order, you can use the shop, comment on this post (or the seeds one) or contact me to put in an order. If you do a large order (50+ plants), then I will do a special price for you.

My seeds - updated February 13, 2017

on Tue, 01/03/2017

2016-01-22-16.07.jpgI've gone through and updated my list of seeds that I have as of now. I've also been going through seed catalogs to look at some ideas of new things I may be able to grow this year. I'll be adding to the list below as I purchase more seeds.

I will once again be taking pre-orders, as this will help me to better plan what to grow for myself as well as what to grow for others. I typically sell them for $2-3/plant, which covers the cost of the seeds, organic soil, pots, grow light, etc. and come in a pot that is approximately 3.5" x 3.5". Plants of this size are usually $4-5 at the store and are not grown organically.

If you're interesting in purchasing some seedlings, you can visit my online shop, comment below or you can use the contact page to get a hold of me. Seedlings are usually ready March-April, depending on the type. I'll be starting seedlings in mid-January and will be continually growing through March, as different types have different lengths of time it takes to grow the seeds. 

Click the "read more" link for a chart of what I have thus far. (02-13-17, 7 pm).

Topic

Setting up a garden when you're a renter

on Wed, 08/31/2016

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Well, recently we were told that we had to remove everything that wasn't physically on/attached to the patio - no plants out on the ground. When I pointed out that I had permission to do this and it was in the same place as always, I was told that they had never given permission, had never seen the garden, etc. Now this was the exact person who I had talked to about my garden multiple times and had approved it. They tried saying in past years they'd just seen the greenhouse. A greenhouse that I just bought and installed this year. After a little more poking, it was clear that they had visited the garden this year (since that's the only time I had a greenhouse) and had to have seen all the containers since those were already there.

After a little back and forth, I ripped up a good chunk of the garden and the rest seems to be ok for now. Didn't make me too happy to pull up all my pumpkins, most of my squash, much of my cucumbers, etc. - it was probably $100+ worth of plants. Needless to say, we'll be moving as soon as we can, as I am tired of this kind of thing.

So how can you help protect yourself?

Get it in writing

If they approve you having a garden, greenhouse, planters, etc., get it in writing. And get that again every time you sign your lease. Make sure that it states that this agreement supersedes anything in your lease, community rules, etc.

Have them visit

Set up your garden and then have them visit. Ask them if there are any issues with what you have, where it is at, etc. Then you can fix it before your plants get too established. My landlord couldn't seem to understand why it would be an issue moving a pot that is probably 20 gallons with a 7' tall tomato plant in it.

You might even want to document the visit, such as recording it. Just make sure what the laws are regarding recording other people.

Once they've ok'd it, take photos, print them, and have them sign off.

This should help protect you for at least the duration of your current lease if they try to change things midway like they did to us.

Powdery mildew

on Thu, 07/28/2016

Powdery mildew is a problem for me every year. I live in an apartment that runs their sprinklers several times throughout the night from about 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Since these run at night when it's cool, it never fails that mildew starts to grow. Not to mention that it never fails that we get rainy days that are cool.

I've tried just about everything over the years. Several people mentioned Neem Oil, so I finally picked some up at the store recently when I found it on sale. I mixed up some and put it in a spray bottle and went to work. I gave everything that had mildew on them a good spraying and everything else that could get mildew got a light spray. And then I waited to see what happened.

A week later and there was maybe 30% the amount of mildew on the leaves as there had been previously. I was so excited, as some of the leaves were just completely white and fuzzy. I've got to do another spraying, as the bottle recommended every week until it's cleared up and every 14 days to help prevent mildew.

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Hopefully within a few weeks the plants will all nice and healthy again. Having this mildew on it makes it hard for the plant to photosynthesize, and it can die.

Wilted seedlings

on Sat, 07/02/2016

Usually when I have to deal with wilted seedlings,it's outside. Maybe we had too hot of a day and they need extra water. Or I didn't harden them off long enough. But this year I'm having the issue indoors. We've been so hot indoors lately that they are acting like they're having issues from not being hardened off long enough. Problem is they're indoors. It's just too hot inside for them and I don't have ac in that part of the house, so there's not a lot I can do (only in the bedroom).

I'm considering moving the ones most affected (cucumbers and eggplant) into my bathroom in the evenings and giving them some cool off time.

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I'm looking forward to the day when I'm in a house that stays cooler or has something like a basement that stays cool. Then the poor plants won't have such a problem when the house is unusually hot. They were doing great until it got hot inside.

Aphids!

on Tue, 06/28/2016

I am so tired of aphids. First I had the usual ones on my chives. I bought ladybugs. Then we found them indoors on my seedlings. I tried organic insecticidal soap, but that only works if it touches the bugs and they were good at hiding. So then I moved them outside and bought more ladybugs. Then a few days later I find an infestation on my kale. This time it was a different kind of aphid - these looked like globs of ash. The kale had been fine just a few days earlier. I ended up having to pull up half of it to protect the rest.

2016-06-14 13.30.13.jpg 2016-06-14 13.30.21.jpg 2016-06-14 13.30.04.jpg

Then more seedlings inside got aphids. Then I found black ones on my beans.

I swear everywhere I turn I'm fighting aphids. And looking around town, it appears to be an issue many people are having. I'm noticing them on roses and such all over town.

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Welcome! About this site...

Zucchini seedlingsWelcome to my blog on container gardening. I live in an apartment and as such don't have the option to plant anything in the ground. As such, I gave dozens and dozens of containers surrounding my patio filled with herbs, vegetables, fruits, and flowers.

I started out with just a few planters of strawberries around my garden. Then I added a few hanging baskets of flowers for our daughter. Each year I've expanded and expanded my garden. I've been buying bigger and bigger containers and adding new plants. I've found some things that have worked well for me - like the Asian finger eggplant that produced probably 100 eggplants - and things that haven't - my rapini never grew and it's just too cold for melons to do well.

I hope to share what I've learned thus far, tips, and more through this blog. I also hope to hear from you about what has worked for you.

Be sure to check out the photo galleries! Lots of photos there showing what I'm growing, how the plants are doing and more!