Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Photo reportage from the Indoor Gardener

This is the feet of the cherry tree on the balcony. The tree itself is balding (I think it dried when spring set off), so I spare you that picture. This looks rather nice, eventhough the pansies have seen better days. Yesterday I poked some nasturtium seeds into the soil to have lush green leaves and perhaps a few flowers to succeed them. If you look closely you can see the first leaves of the runnerbean 'Enorma' I planted close to the tree. The idea is that the bean will grow up into the crown and cover the bald patches. Let's see how far it goes considering we've already reached July.

Potatoes growing indoors... I haven't used added light for this plant, that's why the stems are so thin and vinelike, but the plant is still decorative. I've completely forgotten which kind of potato it is - I put two kinds to sprout and forgot to write the names on the container. Don't repeat my mistake - it's easy to grab a marker. It'll be interesting to see how many tubers the plant will be able to form in these circumstances, I'll return with a spud count later on.

The tomatoes have had a hard time standing the hot and dry weather eventhough they stand in selfwatering containers. Thrips and illnesses are ramping about in the leaves, yet the plants still sets fruit. Now when we've finally cleaned the balcony (on the last day without rain here in Uppsala...) these are first in line to be treated. I have to cut them down entirely, I'm afraid, but tomatoes are easy to grow so I'm not that down. Besides, this gives me a chance to try those heirloom tomatoes I was given by Sesam (the swedish association preserving heirloom vegetables) on the Nordic Gardens fair this spring.

Ins't this sad? The plants' and my health are mirroring each other, so I think this is a good picture of my own state. (I've been home ill so many times it's ridiculous, fact is I'm ill while I'm writing this.) I need to cut down quite a lot here too, but I think I'll spare the lemon thyme, it've survivied everything, even the thrips. I'm still not rich enough to by biological thrips control, so I have to stay content with the oldfashioned methods of extreme cleanlyness and perhaps a small dose of pine soap water every now and then.

Last, but not least, the worn beauties of the study, three containers of dead nasturtium 'Alaska'. They didn't stood a chance when the heat set in since I didn't use the room and could see what was happening before it was too late. Now I've actually set up a working corner here (you can see my table and my knitting machine in the background) so perhaps the next set of plants will fare better. I'm tempted to take the easy way out and just remove the dead plants and poke seeds in the soil, but I won't; I don't know if there's "wiltering illness" (couldn't find the english term - sorry, but I think the translation says it all) in it.

Well then, now you know what I have to work with. Hopefully I'll make most of it in the week to come - depending on how much I can do per day.


Kenneth Moore said...

Oh wow... I am glad you are back, but those photos are unfortunate. But nasturtium grows so quickly (I have mine in the bathtub right now, to keep them away from the other plants--they have red spider mites all over them), and so do runner beans, and many of the other things that you say you must replace.

Despite the tragedy, I do enjoy the happiness of your strawberry plants in the cherry tree's container. Your tomatoes also give me hope--my plants are really big, but the flowers on them never open. I think I overfertilized while trying to compensate for the soil that I had originally bought. I stopped fertilizing and started pruning, so maybe some will open and set fruit!

Rosengeranium said...

I keep my fingers crossed for your tomatoes! What kind are you using? My own plants are 'Tiny Tim', a variety that doesn't need pruning, and they have proved to be very sturdy when it comes to growing indoors. Just remember to shake the flowers when they are opening to help the fruiting process.

Kenneth Moore said...

I have some cherry tomato plants that are just getting started, an Ace bush, a Better Boy (not doing so well, but not bad), and the Cherokee Purple, an American heirloom. It's indeterminate. It's not an indoor variety by a long shot. But it has flowers and I want it to work!

Rosengeranium said...

Ah, in that case it's probably pruning that is the key. Every book I've read about gardening points out how important it is to prune tomatoes since the side stems steals energy from the plant. Me, being lazy, tend to favourize those varieties that has "no need for pruning" written on the envelope...

tbaleno said...

I love some of the posts you've done so far. I think we have a similar attitude towards growing things.

I've posted on my blog about growing watermelon (failed), and other fun stuff. But my greatest success have been cucumbers and tomatoes. I found it hard to kill the tomato plant because it just insisted on living even after I stopped watering it for a month. That Hydroton really holds moisture I guess.

I can't seem to find a link to categories so I can see some of the other stuff you did. Do you have any list of vegetables you've grown so I don't have to go through the entire archive?