Friday, April 18, 2014

Germination and Radiant Sunlight -- Garden Update 4/18

It's starting to feel like summer again. Nearly everyday in the past week has been in the high 70s/low 80s. However, the trend looks to be reversing in the next week; we might be getting some rain again. Regardless, most of the plants in the garden are still alive, despite some wilting here and there during the day. A little extra water perks them right back up. I'm not done planting new seeds yet as I have yet to finish harvesting all of the winter plants (read as the cabbages upstairs).
April 18 Grapevine overview
The grapevine has been given a new home
I'm keeping my tour of the downstairs garden brief today, as I am unable to get good photos of my hydroponic lettuce. After some observation, I realized that I made a smart move and planted Nevada lettuce, which can tolerate the sun better than other varieties. Although the wilting makes me worry a little, the plants perk back up once the sun leaves the balcony. Maybe I should set up a blanket to shade them....
DWC overview
Overview of hydroponic system
Nevada Lettuce in hydroponics
Good looking lettuce this week
Lettuce in hydroponics
It wilts during the day, but it comes back alive at night.
Salad bowl lettuce in hydroponics
Salad bowl lettuce made it into the system too
Aside from the lettuce on the balcony, I got a new grapevine last week. I bought some new soil and transplanted it into a container I had lying around the balcony. The vine isn't old enough to produce any fruit yet, but the container is big enough to allow some growth for this year. The other fruit on my balcony, by strawberry plant, looks to finally be setting berries that I can harvest. All the other fruit it set so far this year dried up and became useless.
Symphony Grapevine vertical
Stick provided to allow for trellising
Strawberry plant 4/18
It's finally going to give me berries!
2 liter lettuce
Some other lettuce on the balcony
A bit more excitement is happening on the upstairs balcony. Many of my new seeds have germinated. The beans and lemon cucumbers I planted to replace the cabbage and cilantro respectively broke ground. The cucumbers came up fast; it only took them 3 days to appear. As of now, only half of my bean seeds germinated, but bear with me, as these seeds were saved from plants last year. The cabbages still remaining are close to being harvested. Especially the one in the middle bin. That one will be gone first.
These might give the heads I want
Cabbage Beans
This cabbage is due for a harvest
Salad bowl lettuce garlic cucumbers
The salad bowl lettuce is looking nice, the garlic isn't.

Right side balcony garden overview
Full shot of the right side
Lemon Cucumber seedling
Lemon cucumber germinated!
A few other plants have germinated. Namely the lettuce in my hydroponic hanging planters and some green onions around the balcony. Additionally, the basil I had growing looks like it'll make it. I have a problem with basil in that most of the time I germinate it, it never grows beyond it's cotyledons. I guess I won't need to buy a basil plant to clone this year.

Upper left balcony onions
New onions on the upper left balcony
Pizza sauce and Basil soap coming soon?
Onions near subirrigated bin
Lots of green onions replacing an old chard plant
Hydroponic hanging planter germination
More Nevada lettuce plants
Left side balcony garden
The entirety of the lower left side
What else is thriving on the balcony? Many of the white chard plants that haven't bolted yet are. Especially now that they've been uncrowded. There are some green onions that are nearly ready to harvest too. That's why I've planted so many new green onions: to keep the crop rotation going.
Green onions
Green onions
White Chard
Swiss Chard
Pea season is nearing a close. I think 2 of the plants in the bin made it and have given me about 3 pea pods so far.
Subirrigated bin
The bin with peas and spinach and other things
Pea pod
A harvested pea pod
Last but not least is the fate of my Kale plant. It's been alive for a few months, but it's now in full bolt mode. The flower stalk is gigantic and all the little yellow flowers are blooming. I think I want to save the seeds off this plant because it grew so large for being in a container.  
flowering kale
No idea if the leaves are still good to eat
That's all for today. I'll try to bring an update next week, but the rain might affect my ability to take photos.

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