Thursday, May 23, 2013

Beans and massive Hydroponic Growth -- Spring Garden Weekly Update 7

It's that time of the week again. On Tuesday I harvested my first beans. I still have yet to see green beans at the farmers market, so I beat them to the punch. Over the weekend, I was able to get a bunch of free seed packets from a campus event. I haven't planted any yet, but I will be using some in winter. Let's take a look at everything.


Left side balcony garden
Right side balcony garden

No tassels or flowers yet in the corn/beans bin; those might not appear for a while. The pole beans are constantly wrapping themselves around one another. If I do pole beans again, I'll be sure to install a taller trellis prior to planting. The zucchini have bloomed more male flowers, but no females as of yet.
3 Sisters Container Garden
Portrait to show bean height, May 23
The bean flowers are starting to turn into pods in the middle bin. Looks like I will have a bunch of beans ripening all at once.
Container Garden Beans
May 23
In the trellis bin, nearly all the purple beans are starting to form pods. The pea have not been doing so well in the heat, but I did harvest a pod earlier in the week. Additionally, I harvested a bean pod from this bin. See the photos of the harvest on this page.
Beans and Peas container
May 23
To the left side of the balcony, my tomato plants are flowering all over the place. One of the cucumbers here is looking worse than before, so I might remove that soon. I harvested some Swiss Chard from this side of the balcony too. One of the lettuce plants I harvested earlier has grown back.

Left side balcony garden closeup

Left side balcony garden closeup 2
My desk drawer beans have overgrown their bin and are also beginning to flower. I hope these produce as well as the other beans in the garden. The white bin cucumbers are overgrowing too; I'll need to trellis them. I think my lettuce bin is starting to bolt, but it might not need to be removed for another week or so.
Desk Drawers + Cut and Come again lettuce
Here is an update to those who read the instructions to build an upside down tomato planter. My Sweet 100 plant that I put in there is also beginning to flower like my other plants. So despite having less soil volume, it works well as a suitable container. I might make some more to plant my cloned plants in.
Upside down tomato planter plant
Upside down planter 5/23/13


I think the peppers are doing the best downstairs at the moment. My cucumbers seem a bit stagnant, despite growing all over the place. I must remember that it hasn't even been the number of days on the seed packet yet, even though flowers and fruit are all over the vines. In case you are wondering, I did rotate the tomato bin to allow some of the smaller plants to get more sun. The eggplant is all over the place now.
Kratky Garden overview
Slowly but surely, the pruned peppers are regrowing. The non-pruned ones, especially the Serrano peppers, are growing fast. Flowers might open up soon. Additionally, I harvested the romaine lettuce from this bin, which you can see on the harvest page.
Kratky Peppers
The main problems I'm having with the cucumbers are lack of support and lack of pollination. I don't think I've seen a single bee visit my balcony, so I have to try to hand pollinate all the flowers. Only a few have grown to respectable size, but none have been harvestable yet.
Kratky Cucumbers
Cucumber fruit forming
Growing cucumber
Finally, the tomato bin continues to do well. Multiple eggplant flowers are due to open soon. One of the ACE tomatoes should be setting fruit soon. I hope rotating the bin was a good idea.
Eggplant and Tomato Kratky
Tomatoes & Eggplant

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