Spent some time on the patio taking care of our little cement farm. I think this weekend Irving will have to come down, he's got 6 tiny tomatoes on him, but they've been the same size and same degree of not getting red for about 2 months now, (you know because it's winter and all...wtf weather?) so I think it's time to chop him down and see how the bag held up. The seedling superbush for next summer is doing great in the mini green house, not sure yet if the hanging bag gets another shot or not.
Here's the thing, The bag worked FUCKING awesome, as far as growth, and keeping pests off. (there was a little bit of a fly issue late in the summer those little white ones, but a sticky trap took care of that PDQ.) And even bloom wise it was pretty impressive. The Problem with it was No Pollinators visited. I do not know if this was caused by the bag itself, like the plastic or the pattern weren't attractive smells and sights for the little buggers or if it was because for the first time the cement farm had no flowers besides the blooms on the tomato itself. (not for lack of trying but the marigolds just didn't come up this year) So it is possible the garden just didn't look yummy enough to attract anyone.
Irving got to be about 6 feet long and for the most part grew down and out a little, A few vines branched off and up, but the central stalk of the vine is thick and healthy, about 4 inches around and a good color and not rotted at all. (which are a few of the concerns reviews of the bags brought up before I tried it)
So I think if the bag held up its' integrity (no holes or patches that look like they are about to be holes) and turns out to be relatively easy to clean out, I will try it again with the superbush, only this year as soon as there are open blooms I will go out there with a qtip and hand pollinate right away, just in case.
I do think I will try one of the strawberry ones, though, since the basics of the bag worked out so well, and I may get a second one for a bell pepper.
The first set of Chili Peppers is now hanging and drying in the dining room. The orange fogo. And so far (fingers crossed) the plant is surviving the winter and may make it to next spring. If it does then YAY but I do have a seedling ready to replace it just in case in the greenhouse.
The loofah have come up in the greenhouse just fine, so that should be interesting, they look really healthy and they could be transplanted now if the weather were going to stay like today. but I doubt it so they are staying in the greenhouse for now.
The tree experimental seedlings are looking good too, so far I have what 5 different 4 inch tree seedlings, and they are either apple, pear, lemon or limes. Judging by the leaves I believe I have apples. So the next step there is to transplant them in the spring to bigger planters, I will most likely get a set of quart pots and put them each in one, by the end of next summer I may have some to give away if they all grow like gangbusters, but if you comment and say you think you'll want one for your yard, keep in mind I am not 100% sure they are apples, and it will be a few years before you'll know for sure since they started from seed this past summer. They are definitely a tree and they are definitely a fruit tree, but I failed at labeling which row of the tray had which seed, All I know is they are not the row that is bell pepper seeds cause they are all down the center and the peppers are along one edge (and, oddly enough haven't sprouted)
Anyway we will only be keeping one, so if they are all doing well in the fall I will let everyone know and ask who wants to come grab one. (even if you comment here you want one, look for that and comment again so I don't forget)
The Bearded Iris are still leafing and looking nice each year, but that pot is really only big enough to keep the corms alive, I really need to get those into a bigger pot so they'll actually come up and bloom
The garlic looks good, got about 70% on actual viable plants there so not bad.
The basil was fantastic all season long it was really nice to be able to walk out and grab a few leaves every night for cooking, and we have jar of dried fromt he last harvest in the kitchen, plus the plants themselves are wintering over really nicely so far, so I think those should make a nice comeback in the spring. Also the chamomile is looking fantastic and I expect beautiful things from it when it's time for bloomage, however I do not care for chamomile tea so when harvest time comes around a bag of dried chamomile will be made available for whoever wants it. (I just like the flowers and my mom sent me a beautiful packet of a lovely heirloom seed for them, so I had to plant them)
The nicotiana is growing well (I had to re-start it) but it did not get enough heat to actually go to town last summer, so I expect a good show from it this coming season.
Adding to the garden this coming year I plan on starting another hot pepper variety, the aforementioned strawberry bagsket (I made that word up!), and some herbage past basil. Bottled herbs are so F'ing expensive, so I am going to grow the ones I use the most from now on. So Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Oregano, and such.
Dill worked out really well last time I did it, but I only use it for a few recipes and I still have a GIANT bag of frozen vacuum sealed dill in the freezer from last time I did dill, so I think I am gonna skip dill this year, but I will probably add it next year.
Flower wise I am going to go for a few butterfly and hummer bird attractors, and probably direct sow into a big planter a mix of things that have about the same season. Whatever comes up comes up.
I'd really love to try a potato bag or some baby carrots, but I think that will have to wait, I don't think I will have enough room for those this year.
As far as other pipe dreams for the cement farm, I'd really love to get the rack and the cabinet moved so I can get lime and lemon container trees in front of the patio sliding door we never use. (If you've never seen our patio, the front wall of our apartment has two windows, then the front door then the sliding glass door then the kitchen window, so the sliding glass door pretty much acts like a clear wall we never use and usually have the blinds pulled in front of. But I like the idea of getting some small container trees along it. So eventually I want a small japanese maple and a lime and a lemon and if I can find one locally, the tree you harvest cinnamon bark from. They have them here
, but are sold out. The can grow up to 32 feet! But since we plan on eventually having a yard to put these trees in, I'm not real worried about it, if anything, when it starts to puncture the balcony awning, this will be our queue to start house hunting. lol
Anyway I've had a nice gardening babble, if you want to call dibs on spare
1) possible apples (next fall)
2) Loofah seedling (early spring)
3) bag of dried chamomile (next fall)
4) Possible spare fresh herbage (late summer)
Please keep in mind you will have to come get them yourself, since I am still carless and don't know when that will be fixed, and you'll need to comment again when I say they are ready and come and get em, to ensure I do not give your thing away to someone else because I forgot.