Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A Little Rain Never Hurt Anything -- April 2 Garden Update

1 gallon lettuce plant
Rebuilding the lettuce empire, 1 plant at a time
I have returned from spring break and soap making to find my garden still alive (thanks to my housemate). There were a few chard plants looking like death (wilting), but they recovered after I applied copious amounts of water. The sky has also given quite a bit of moisture too; it has been raining really hard the last two days.
I left the hydroponic system running while I was gone. That's the thing I like about it, I hardly need to watch it and the plants grow fine without any care. Unfortunately the turnaround time (planting, removing plants) takes a little longer than normal soil grown plants. Regardless, the lettuce I planted is growing its first true leaves. I occasionally need to top off the water, especially since the roots haven't grown outside the netpots yet.
Hydroponic Lettuce Seedlings
Little lettuce seedlings
Lettuce Hydroponics
The bin

Hydroponics Overview April 2
Overview of hydroponic system
One of the things that didn't make it though were the cucumber and lettuce seeds I started. The lettuce seedlings wilted out and the cucumbers never germinated. Surprisingly, a few of the chard and basil seedlings survived. I planted some of the chard seedlings on the downstairs balcony to replace all the old lettuce plants.
Chard starts
Chard recovering thanks to rain
Basil Seedling
Is it basil time yet?
I resowed some lettuce and basil seedlings in an effort to replace the cucumbers. If those don't germinate, I'll find a solution.

Downstairs balcony soil pots
New seedlings everywhere!
Chard 1 gallon
Chard replacing the old cut and come again lettuce container
Salad Bowl lettuce
More leaf lettuce replacing the old

Left side balcony garden
Left side balcony
Right side balcony garden
Right side of the balcony
The upstairs garden will see some changes in the next few weeks, but none immediately. The cabbages are finishing up soon. I plan to plant some bush beans as I did last year in those bins as they grow fast and have a low profile.
New Lettuce seedlings
Replacement lettuce growing
Cilantro flowers
Cilantro flowers
Once the cilantro outgrow their usefulness, I'll replace those with lettuce. There are so many cilantro flowers around my balcony now.
Wow Kale
Wow Swiss Chard
As the leafy greens recover, I'll harvest more of them to make more vegetable chips. Although I think I like the kale chips more than the Swiss Chard chips, you can never grow too many Swiss Chard plants. Especially different colored chard. The red chard is taking root in its new container.
Red Swiss Chard
Red Chard getting somewhere
To finish off today's update, we'll look at the subirrigated bin. Although many of the pea plants aren't doing too well, there is one plant that is really big compared to the others. One of the plants (not the biggest one) looks to be growing flowers. Aside from that, the carrots and onions are doing well, along with the abandoned spinach plants.

Subirrigated planter
Only 1 pea plant is doing well
Next week I'll have more seeds started. Spring is here, but I do not know what the weather has in store for this season.

Last Update (3/21)
Pea plants
Let the strongest plant survive
And then there was this one spinach plant that did well.

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