Its been a while since I updated the photos. All plants are fruiting now. I have peppers, okra, tomatos, eggplant, corn, peas, bean and strawberries all producing. Only the tomatos are preventing trips to the grocery store. I suspect the peppers will kick in soon. Pretty much everything else is a waste of time though. I suspect I might get 5 ears of corn. A couple of eggplant, a hand full of okra. To date the peas and beans have been disappointing. Not really getting the vines I needed to produce a good crop. I have some ideas for next time. The peppers have been slow, but are starting to grow well now. I suspect too many cold spells interrupted the growing cycle. Anyway…some photos…
Its been a rough couple of weeks with high wind and a three day cold spell. Tomatos came though it well. Every plant is fruiting already. Peppers do not seem to be growing at all. The corn was damaged by the wind, I added some more seeds to help replace the damaged corn. The seeds are already sprouting and I will likely plant some more soon. The okra is growing well, but it is a very slow process. The eggplants have doubled in size since the initial planting, and have just got their first flowers. The beans are starting to take off now. The peas are still very slow. The strawberries are getting eaten by a raccoon. I built a fence to help with that, although it would not actually keep a raccoon out, it might be a small deterrent. The tomato seedlings I put in the ground seem to have settled in and are starting to grow.
The cold weather seems to be a thing of the past this year. I picked up some corn seedling and some okra seedlings from the local nursery. I made 3 earthtainers last week, sold a couple to a friend and put the corn in the remaining one. I have never grown corn before, will see how we go. Apparently it has to be densely planted to allow for fertilization of the flowers at the appropriate time. I also put my remaining tomato seedlings into a garden bed. It will be interesting to see which plants do better…assuming I remember to water them.
Almost fully planted for spring/summer now. Have added beans and peas. I also acquired to city planters which contain eggplant and strawberrys. I am just waiting for the Okra to be ready to put into a final earthainer. Cold weather is expected on Monday, I need to work out how to protect the plants for that. I really do not want to move them all into the garage again…but I may have no choice. I might just try to wrap and heat them. Also included a pic of the onions in the garden.
I took a risk and planted early based on a 10 day forecast which indicated good weather almost until March. My local nursery suggested planting in the first week of March. Unfortunately we got some cold days and I had to move the earthtainers inside. They are very heavy. After dragging them into the garage for a few days and back out again, I decided I could not really do that again. It stresses the earthtainers, and they are simply too heavy. Unfortunately, I had not choice as cold weather occurred again. I build some platforms for the earthtainers from cheap furniture dollys and wooden boards. This makes the movement of the earthtainers far simpler. So far the plant have avoided the worst of the weather. The tomatos have doubled in size. The peppers are more sensitive to lower temperatures and seems to be struggling a little. I am hoping the cold spell forecast for next week is the last and spring arrives.
Today I put seedlings in 5 of the 7 earthtainers. The are populated as follows
- Earthtainer 1: Sun Gold Tomato, Juliet Tomato
- Earthtainer 2: Sweet Million Tomato, Champion II Tomato
- Earthtainer 3: Early Girl Tomato, Sun Gold Tomato
- Earthtainer 4: California Wonder Pepper, Jalopeno, Golden California Pepper, Purple Beauty Pepper
- Earthtainer 5: Purple Beauty Pepper, Red Beauty Pepper, California Wonder Pepper, Golden California Wonder Pepper
I have some spare seedling just in case all these do not take. I have also started growing some Beans, Peas and Okra. There is a good chance that I will make 3 more eathtainers soon. It is perhaps a little early to plant these, however, I am taking a bet that the mild winter will continue. Things look good for the next ten days. Fingers crossed.
It was quite windy today also, and spring in this area has a reputation of strong winds. As such I wrapper all the earthtainer cages with clear packing cling wrap. This provides a little protection. I have only wrapped the first two feet currently. I might pack a little more if required later. I have not planted any cucumber as the wind would just destroy the leaves. Last season I was lucky with cucumber as I got through alot of the growning season before wind really hurt the plants.
Today I did a little maintenance on 3 of the earthtainers. They have been sitting idle since the tomatos/cucumbers died during the winter freezes. Other than cleaning the dead foliage out of them, I had done nothing with the earthtainers. Today, I emptied the soil out, and removed the root. I was a little surprised to see that the earth was still moist and that the wicking action was still working well. The tomato roots has actually worked their way through the weed cloth at the bottom of the container. Roots were particularly dense in the wicking basket itself. I was glad that I decided to clean them out as it would have hindered wicking action in Spring. For one of the earthtainers, the soil in the wicking basket had settled, and it was not making contact with the soil above the basket (on the weed cloth) as well as it should have. The clean up rectified all the issue. I still have 4 more earthtainers to prepare. I am also planning to build a couple more.
I have obtained some local tomato seedling today also. More on those in the next post.
There has been a lot of cold nights recently and a couple of freezes. The tomatos have died. I harvested the remaining green tomatos and am hoping they will ripen off the vines. The earthtainers will be put away for the winter and will make a return in Spring.