Just a quick update to my recent post detailing my experiences growing crops in my window.  One month in and the plants are all looking healthy and have started producing food.  I’ve been able to collect some royal burgundy beans, sugar snap peas, seranno peppers, cherry tomatoes, basil, sage and strawberries.  Still waiting on the cucumbers, lettuce and bok choy to mature a bit.

A number of people have asked what I do about the bugs.  I’ve found that they really aren’t a big problem.  I’ve seen some gnat-like insects, mostly around the cucumbers.   The bok choy has been attacked by a couple of pests as well.  My solution was two-fold.  I used a small amount of garden supply anti-catapillar treatment on the bok choy which seems to help a lot.  The other thing I did was to introduce ladybugs into the garden areas.  I’m sure some might find this concept a bit off-putting, but it doesn’t bother me at all to see the little red buggers, even when they are exploring the rest of the house.  It just reminds me of all the bad insects they are eradicating.

Just for fun, I also got a pot full of Venus fly traps.  Those insect-eating plants work, but a little too well.  In addition to catching the gnats, they were most effective at trapping the ladybugs!  Somehow THAT seemed cruel.

The original post is here.
Here are some recent pix…

Let me begin with a simple admission.  I don’t know much about gardening.  Until a few weeks ago, I had never planted a seed, or maintained houseplants.  My thumbs weren’t green, they were red and swollen from playing Xbox.  I had never given much thought to the source of the fresh food I consume or its impact, but recently I’ve started to experiment with growing my own.

office_CU

I live in the city and although I have a small yard, I have to occasionally share it with a family of local raccoons and other creatures.  After several attempts at raising outdoor crops which accomplished little more than providing raccoon snacks, I decided to move my efforts indoors.

offce_bins

Two south-facing window spots offered enough sun and so I started experimenting.  Within days the various plants were all responding well and so the experiments grew.

office_garden

lv_garden

Traditional flower pots and planters were soon replaced by big black plastic storage bins from Office Depot which were less expensive and more efficient.  I MacGuvered some one-gallon water bottles into hanging topsy turvy-style planters and tried a variety of vines, including tomatoes, pole beans, cucumbers and peppers.

office_hanging

Hanging crops above other plants is a great way to maximize the amount of growing space and conserve water, and it wasn’t long before the notion of “hanging water bottles” was upgraded and replaced by a complete garden row of inverted plants, all in black bins with holes drilled in them, effectively doubling the garden size.  (12 ft by 1.5 ft)

lv_hanging

cuke

Initial harvests have been small as I figure out what crops work, but so far have I’ve enjoyed basil, tomatoes, romaine, yellow and burgundy beans and one tiny potato.

tomoto

royalBurg

potato

Current crops include more tomatoes, peppers, beans and cukes, plus butter lettuce, onions, sugar snap peas, bok choy, blueberries, strawberries, and a meyer lemon tree.

garden row

snappeas

PART 2) More images and details here.

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