Thursday, January 9, 2014

January 9th Garden Assessment

Out of control cilantro
It has been about 3 weeks since I left my apartment and my plants to the elements for my break. What remained when I returned? Well for starters, my area has had uncharacteristic drought conditions, meaning it hasn't rained during that time (unlike last year). Some plants did fine over the time, but others were wilting away when I came back. I think the plants that could have survived the drought did, and those that looked scraggly when I returned have perked back up after some watering.

Left side of Balcony
Right side of balcony
Much of the Swiss Chard I had out survived well. I moved some of the plants from the traditional 1 gallon nursery pots they were in to 1 gallon SIPs I made out of ice cream containers. Those chard and kale plants were fine. The worst looking plants I came back to were the cabbage and the chard not in the SIPs. I did end up harvesting the cabbage the day after it perked back up and enjoyed it. With the cabbage I made some beef and cabbage pitas which came up very delicious.
The cabbage is curling back up, trying to form a new head.
Harvested Head of Cabbage
Beef and Cabbage Pita
All the plants in the red bins on the left side of my balcony were doing fine. The ex-hydroponic cabbage are much bigger than before. The lettuce and cilantro have also grown up. I have tried using some of it in cooking by snipping it like grass.
The Swiss Chard has perked back up too.
What didn't end up making it were the baby bok choy I tried planting in the large white box. Instead I have sown spinach seeds. I am still waiting for those to germinate.

Since most of my plants are hardened winter crops, it might be a while until anything actually gets removed for spring planting. I will be working to get my hydroponic system restarted next week when I have a steady water source to refill the bins. I'm lucky that it hasn't been as cold as the recent cold snap in the Midwest and other parts of States. Hopefully my area will not get below 30 degree temperatures for the rest of January.

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