Sunday, June 22, 2008

Status at summer solstice

I'm sorry I have been derelict in reporting on all my various ecogronomic projects. Here is an attempt to bring things current. Overall, I have had mixed success. The sum output has been much less than I expected, but there are some positive developments.

I have so many things going on I don't know where to begin. At last count I had three dozen individual plants indoors alone. Plus an equivalent on my patio.

In general the AeroGardens have not produced as expected. I have been able to get seedlings pretty easily in most cases, but getting real plants with real fruits has been elusive. I'm sure a good deal of this was from my relentless moving plants around, trying them in bottles or outside, etc. Still, I was disappointed by some kits, like the Cherry Tomato. I have only got one big plant out of it. It's important to note that I did have that bowl outside. It also grew a giant zuccini, but it lost its blossoms too.

I was disappointed by a couple of the kits. My Aerogarden 3's Green Bean kit (out of three seed pods) produced two leggy plants that got so tall I moved them to an AeroGarden Classic. Also, the Baby Greens are gone, daddy, gone. They don't like to be above 78'F and I think my air conditioner may have dried them out. They ended up getting covered with some kind of little red plant mites.

So, the theme for the last couple of months has been disappointment, be it self-induced or not. To have four AeroGardens going and an empty salad bowl is a little discouraging, and I have spent around $50 on seed kits alone. My little cherry tomato plant looks like shit. It had some blooms but it lost them. I dumped out all the old water and started anew in an attempt to revive. Right now it is parked in a Classic AeroGarden with just the two leggy Green Bean AG3 refugees. My last remaining hops plant is hanging on, beginning to branch out, but it's still just a sad little diseased looking twig. The little coffee plant I got on eBay has some leaves but it is an unhealthy yellowy shade of green. These last two, parked outside.

My pride and joy is my little lemon tree. I think I got this thing started earlier than the rest. It has about eight fruits on it and they are larger than limes. Also, one of my several poblano pepper plants is looking like something after I moved it to get a lot more shade during the day. It has been so hard getting stuff going on that baking (115'F) patio, but the lemon tree is full sun all day. The key is, use oversized pots and get stuff established early in the season.

My aquaponics experiment is going, though I downsized it. Now it's basically a styrofoam cooler with a raft on top holding some AeroGarden refugees. The basil is alive, after all the abuse it's been through in the past six months (I planted it around Christmas).

I also have a purple basil in the window in a vase, and a cutting from it is finally establishing itself in a pot on the patio.

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