Monday, September 08, 2008

Autumn and new plans

This week are going to be a sad one here at Indoor Gardener. I intend to show how my windows looks after a period of neglect. It's for a good cause though, I'm planning the new gardens at the same time.

Perhaps a bit cowardly I open with the window that looks the best. There are some serious amounts of tomatoes ripening there. The plants needs to be watered twice a day (I have a feeling I've been through this before...), and every time I rattle the flowers a bit. It's said to make the plant set more fruits, and the method seems to work. The chard is doing well too, I'll probably make chard gravy for our chicken tomorrow.

I need to do two things here. The cuttings in the front row needs to be planted in soil, and the selfwatering container needs mending. The son poured a spade of soil in the water pipe when he helped me sow the seeds, and the pipe has been plugged ever since. I do suspect I need to clean the clay pebbles in the bottom section once I get around to disassemble the container. Right now the chard seems to do well with ordinary from-the-top watering, so I'm in no hurry. But I'll probably stick to growing tomatoes and chard in this window.

If we take a look at the upper section things do worse. There are as many dead plants as there are living. The common purslane looks pretty scrubby after several dry periods. The pots are too small for this place; it's a window facing south that gets hot as soon as the sun comes out. I should have watered thrice a day, but not even I are that dedicated.

So, what am I to do with this place once I've cleaned out the wiltering bodies? One or two stevias will probably live here, since stevia loves light. Perhaps I'll add a basil to them. The leaf amaranth had sturdy culinary qualities I like, so I'll probably sow some in a container too. I'm more uncertain about what to do with the iceplants. They grow well, but I don't like the taste; they taste like bland tea made from old tennis shoes. Perhaps it's better to use the plant in mixes so I'll save it long enough to try it out with the purslane and some smoked pork loin. Whatever I sow I'll put them in selfwatering containers. The soil and the roots don't do as well as in terra cotta pots, but at least the plants will have water.

My dream is to build a aquaponic system here. It'll be a complicated one; normally the plantbox is placed above the fishtank to make the clean water pour from the plants to the fishes through gravity. Here I'll probably need two pumps; one to get the dirty water to the top level windowsill, and one to pump the clean water back into the tank. And I need to figure out where to put the tank. The most obvious place is in the shelving unit, but will the indoor hubby and the books allow a massive relocation?

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