New VodPod video posted to the right, featuring my new rooftop guests: tomato hornworms. What to do, what to do…
Posted in Container Gardening, Pests, Wicker Park, Chicago
Tagged caterpillar, chicago, garden pests, green caterpillar, green worm, horn worm, hornworm, invasive, tomato hornworm, tomatoes, wicker park
I haven’t been posting much about the rooftop situation out of pure shame and embarrassment. I was mislead by a few nice days in mid-May to think I could plan my SIPs. Then the weather got weird; warm season veggies got too cold and otherwise hardy veggies were shredded by high winds.
Three tomatoes survived and now have stems that could survive a hurricane. Most of the pak choi survived (pictured below). Peas did great. The rest of the vacancies were replaced this week by heirlooms I bought at Gethsemene Gardens or leftover seedlings I kept indoors. Tomorrow I’m heading to Portland, OR for a week so these babies better learn to get along without me.
Here’s a look at what’s up:
SIPs well-staked and bamboo-d
Micro-irrigation kit in place for my upcoming week out-of-town
Very hardy and prolific Dwarf Gray peas
First meal of indoor-grown baby Asian greens
I have a couple hundred amaranth seedlings I’m not quite sure what to do with. Lots of pho’ I guess.
Not bad for an $8 rose bush from English Gardens in Royal Oak, MI, eh?
Posted in Container Gardening, Irrigation, Organic Gardening, Rooftop Gardening, Seed, Weather and Climate, Wicker Park, Chicago
Tagged amaranth, chicago, container gardening, Earthbox, indoor gardening, irrigation, micro-irrigation, organic gardening, Portland, rooftop gardening, roses, self-irrigated planters, SIP, tomatoes, wicker park
I’ve noticed on Facebook and in the blogs that some people in Illinois and Michigan have been starting their seeds indoors recently. I have to wait a bit longer and plant mine on April 2nd. I’ll be visiting Portland, OR for the week prior and not able to tend to the babies back home in Chicago.
In the meantime, I’m enjoying ordering supplies and planning. I used the site Growing Taste to help me pick my veggie crops this year. Along with the 10 EarthBoxes that are on their way, here are the seeds I’ve picked up so far:
Heirloom/Open-pollenated seeds from Seed Savers Exchange:
- Pea, Dwarf Gray Sugar
- Watermelon, Blacktail Mountain
- Cucumber, Poona Kheera
- Tomato, Kellogg’s Breakfast
- Tomato, Opalka
- Tomato, Stupice
- Thai Basil
From Renee’s Garden:
- Mesclun Salad Mix, Asian Baby Leaf
These 3 packets are from an Asian market that I picked up to experiment with. No expiration dates, so I’m not holding my breath:
- Eggplant, Chinese long, purple
- Pai-Tsai, Chinese cabbage or “choy”
- Rau Den, Amaranth
Since I’m container gardening and have limited space I decided to grow crops that are either difficult to find or more expensive to buy in stores. Flavorful/colorful tomatoes, for instance, are impossible to find in stores and potentially pricey at farmers’ markets. On the other hand, organic juicing carrots can easily be purchased in bulk at stores and don’t seem very practical to grow in containers. Although, the nutrition level of any store bought produce is debatable. Next on my list are more herbs and native perennials.
Posted in Container Gardening, Rooftop Gardening, Seed
Tagged chicago, container gardening, Earthbox, green, heirloom, seed, tomatoes, urban, wicker park