I satisfied my herb search today at my local nursery, Shannon Florist, and supported a new-ish and innovative local business, Brooklyn Commune, and a non-profit organization that fosters urban growing, Project EATS at their plant and seedling sale. I came home with basil, a couple heirloom tomato plants (insurance in case my seeds don’t germinate and an opportunity to expand my varieties). I also brought home a couple small cucumber plants because I got wrapped up in a moment of gushing gardeners. The purple kale is because the lady from Project EATS (pictured below) was, wisely, offering sample tastes. I also compared notes with several other visitors to the stand on what’s the best way to grow beets in Brooklyn (I was relieved to know I’m not the only one who has struggled to get them to grow, container or ground). A lovely woman who I learned is a neighbor gave me a suggestion for using an empty kitty litter container for cucumbers. (Ironically, the reason I’m looking to raise them off the ground is that there is a stray cat who prowls the yard so I want to keep them up, up and away but I don’t have much trellis space). The sale started in the morning. I got there around noon, and it still had a few hours to go. I left with hands, but not arms, full. I was proud of myself for the restraint, given that I really wanted to snatch up every single one of those plants and soak in hours of the casual chatter, brimming with advice and anecdotes. But I left with just enough, and no more than I needed.
These little buggers appeared next to some beets I have growing in a wooden box. Note the leaves of grass growing right next to/within the beet leaves. Like I said, unless they pose a take-over threat, I generally leave them alone. These guys were growing so close to the beets that pulling them out risked damaging the beets themselves. Voila! Weed problem solved!
It occurred to me I hadn’t shared with you what it is I actually put into the ground. So here goes, by category, only edibles:
- peach tree
- cherry tree
- elderberry bushes (almost certain not dogwoods now)
- Meyer lemon tree (in a container)
- tomatoes, four plant, purchased at a Saratoga Springs farmers’ market, all heirloom
- cucumbers, eight plants, don’t remember where I purchased these but I think it may have been Shannon’s
- pumpkins, from seeds, picked up at a restaurant in New Haven, CT, when we went to see my friend, Bill Demerit, who’s studying theater there. I planted these and they shot right up. I now have six plants (confirm). Unfortunately, these are more the jack-o-lantern variety, but I figure they will give some nice color to the garden late in the season.
- wild ginger, three plants, purchased from the farmers market in Saratoga Springs from a woman who was the only one with a plethora of native plants
- carrots, multiple. These are from seeds, which I didn’t really think would take off, since I’ve had difficulty growing carrots from seeds before but that was straight in the ground. These are growing in a wooden box (like an apple crate) that I used to have hops from Six-Point brewery growing in (ever want to check out some good looking hops, pay them a visit by going to Rocky Sullivan’s in Red Hook – on the upstairs terrace, they usually have hops growing there).
- beets, multiple. These are also from seeds and, again, I planted more than I need, thinking they might not come up for the same reason – I’ve tried planting them from seed in the ground before with no luck. In contrast, these little seeds [brand], which I put into the small plastic starter containers you get new plants in [name?] sprung right up. I now have the dilemma of where to make their seasonal home.
- jalapeno peppers. These I picked up in a set of three starter plants from Shannon’s. I had good luck with these plants last year and wanted to try it again. I have them in a different location (south-facing upstairs terrace) than my north-facing backyard where they were before. We’ll see if it matters. They are in a couple planters with some other hot peppers (another jalapeno and cayenne, I believe) that I tried to maintain indoors over the winter but I’m not sure they’re actually going to produce again since they’ve remained essentially unchanged from last fall when I brought them in.
- new addition: green beans (these seeds just went in the ground from my very most awesome neighbor friend, who is also growing green beans & sweet peas in a self-watering container)
- thyme (three types)
- rosemary (not doing so great)
- mountain mint (got this from the Grand Army Plaza farmers market)
- (will be growing: basil from the Triscuit box seed card & dill from same)