Thursday, April 24, 2014

More Cabbage, More Food -- Garden Update April 24

Salad bowl lettuce opening photo
Surviving the heat, and soaking up sun.
It's getting hot this April! Thanks to some cloudy weather, my plants aren't wilting as much today. It's supposed to rain tomorrow (90% chance), which is good for the state and the plants. However, the forecast says it'll reach 90 next week for 3 days or so. I think it'll be a good idea to bring out some sheets to act as shade cloth for some of these plants.
DOWNSTAIRS
Hydroponic overview 1
Overview of the hydroponic garden
Hydroponic salad bowl lettuce
Some salad bowl lettuce
Leafy lettuce in hydroponic garden
Leafy
The lettuce in the hydroponic garden is getting a lot bigger, in a week or 2, it might be ready to start harvesting and making salads. This, of course if it survives the heat wave next week. I think the Nevada lettuce has a good chance of surviving, but the Salad Bowl Lettuce might not make it.

Hydroponic overview 2
A closer look
Lettuce size hand for scale
Hand for slight size comparison

After weeks of attempting to fruit, the strawberry plant finally has a berry ripening. The combination of extra water and removal of dead flowers likely helped. It's likely that I can get some more berries out of it before it goes dormant again. The grapevine isn't looking any larger yet, but it doesn't look like it's dying either. I must be doing something right then.

Strawberry ripening
A ripening strawberry
Symphony grape vine container
The vine needs a lot more time

UPSTAIRS
A grand overview left balcony garden
Kale, Chard, Onions, basil, lettuce, and carrots
The right side of the container garden
Lettuce, cucumbers, cabbage, and beans
Overall, the upstairs garden is flourishing. New plants are taking hold, seedlings are growing bigger, and larger, more established plants are nearly ready for replacement. The salad bowl lettuce upstairs is doing much better than my downstairs crop, but I think it's because the stuff upstairs was transplanted a few weeks earlier.
Salad bowl lettuce far
Salad bowl lettuce
Salad bowl lettuce close
Look at the cool leaf shape
 The lemon cucumber seedlings have started to grow the first true leaves. In the next week, I'll need to build or move a trellis into this bin to accommodate the growth and vines.
Lemon cucumber seedlings
Cucumbers are a must each season.
Four of the bean seeds I planted have germinated in the vacated cabbage spot. I planted some more seeds today after my harvesting operation today.
Bean plants
More beans are coming!
Moving toward the left side of my balcony, many of the plants there are now well established. The basil plant looks like it'll grow up to produce many Italian dishes and pizzas. The red chard is growing so fast that I feel it'll be ready to eat in less than 2 weeks. Also the green onions I have might be due for a harvest soon.
Baby basil
The start of many basil plants
Ruby Red Chard
The red chard is catching up to the white chard already
Green onions
Time to make onion soap! (joking)
My pea plants have run their course. I harvested a total of 5 or 6 pods from them, all which tasted pretty sweet. I think the one I pulled up today is the last pod I'll get. I might be able to relocate the trellis from this bin to support the lemon cucumbers.
Pea pod on the stalk
The last pod
Harvested Pea pod
So small, but so sweet
We'll finish off this week by looking at some cabbages. All the old outer leaves on my mutant cabbage dried up, so I pulled them off. Now the plant looks like it has 5 or so heads forming on it.
Mutant cabbage
Cabbage revolutions
Additionally as I mentioned above, I harvested the cabbage in the bin with the beans. I can't wait to cook with it.
Harvests of April 24
Today's harvests
Come back next week to see if the garden can survive the upcoming heat wave!

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