You Are Browsing ‘Brooklyn’ Category

My winter container gardening has already ended on my fire escape. It’s also ended for my backyard vegetable garden in Brooklyn as well. This can be attributed to a few things. The first being my neglect. I didn’t go to my Grandmother’s for two weeks to tend to the plants. I’m sure that the snow and cold weather also contributed to the plants dying. Now that they are dead, I’ll have to look back on how the vegetable performed, what my mistakes were and how I can improve for the 2010 season. The next step...

With this being my last post of the year, I wanted to share with you my favorite moments from UrbanOrganicGardener. This might seem a bit self-serving, but when I first set out and started this project my goal was to get just one salad. It’s turned into a bit more than that. I’ve been able to get that salad (and many more), but I’ve also been able to connect personally with many of you and that’s really been the best part. So I’ll close out this year with some of my faves: Like I said my goal was to get one...

I’ve decided to scrap the small plastic greenhouses in my Brooklyn backyard vegetable garden. The past two weeks I’ve had problems with support for them and realized that I should’ve built a larger greenhouse. It’s not that they don’t work because they work fine on my fire escape garden. The problem is that I get to my Grandmother’s only a few days a week, so the plastic stays on them for most of the week. This is causing a lot of condensation and affecting the plants. Some of the kales, lettuces and...

One of my cauliflower plants is finally starting to head. A few weeks ago, I gave my thoughts on growing cauliflower in containers. I received varied responses as to why they weren’t heading – the weather, not enough nutrients, too many plants in one container and more. Not sure what to do, I let the plants be and didn’t do much to mess with them. Sure enough a little over a month later, one of the plants is starting to head. I’m going to continue to keep the container as is. It wasn’t the first time that...

Last week, I realized that there was a support problem with the small plastic greenhouses in my backyard vegetable garden. The water was gathering in the plastic causing it to fall and crush the plants. This week the problems continue with them in Brooklyn. One of the plastic covers blew completely off and another slipped off a bit. I think there are a few things going wrong with them. The most obvious one is that the rope is loosening up during the week, which is allowing the plastic covering to come off. For the backyard vegetable garden,...

Posted on Nov 11 2009 - 5:40am by Mike Lieberman
#8

When do you plant cucumber plants? Not in July. I can tell you that much. Now that the cold weather has come around and it’s dropped into the 40s some nights, the cucumber plant is sad looking. I’m hoping that the two small pieces of fruit on it will grow some more, but I’ll have to wait and see. Next year, I’ll definitely get the cucumber planted much earlier in the season. Here’s what happened this year and why I planted it so late – I killed the first one and took too long to get the next one planted....

Last month, I planted kale and lettuce in the container that I harvested my celery from. At the time, I wasn’t sure if the the kale and lettuces would grow because of the celery root. Little did I realize that after being harvested, the celery would continue to grow. So now the containers have celery growing along with lettuce and kale. I don’t think it’s the optimal growing situation because I already know that celery plants like to grow in their own containers. Much like “Ebony and Ivory” they are living...

Now that I’m over six months deep into this gardening game ‘m starting to notice a pattern in some of my plants. There is something wrong with their growth. The cauliflower has yet to head and the cucumber leaves are yellowing. Now my spinach plants are starting to show some ill effects as well. They are getting some brownish dots on their leaves. The one commonality between all of these plants is that I did not feed any of them. After I finished my initial planting with soil and compost, I never added more compost and nutrients....

Up until this point I’ve been pretty lucky with the pest problems in either of my gardens. The fire escape garden has a built in defense from pests being on the fourth floor. My backyard vegetable garden doesn’t have that luxury. Back in June there were some small signs of pest problems, but nothing horrible. The containers seemed to be a pest deterrent. I’ve since expanded to more than containers though to cinder block gardening and during my final fall planting used traditional pots. The pests seem to be much more...

Never at a loss for words, I decided to ask my Grandmother about her thoughts on my small plastic greenhouse design. She’s been asking me for a while about what I should do and has been telling me to buy this and buy that. I kept telling her that I didn’t want to buy anything and wanted to use as many existing items as I possibly could. Earlier in the week, I had set them up on my fire escape garden and was spending the day at her place getting them ready in the backyard garden. So while she rested from going to her early...

I’m still figuring out what to do with my cucumber plants because the leaves are yellowing. It’s just over a month since I moved my cucumber plant across the yard. The plant was moved for a few reasons. First being that it was outgrowing the trellis that I built for it and needed more support, so I moved it close to the fence to train it up. The second being that the leaves were yellowing, which I thought was due to sun exposure. The plant is growing along the fence, still bearing fruit and blooming. That’s nice, but...

Now that I have my final fall planting done in my backyard vegetable garden, I’m starting to look back and evaluate my first season of gardening. As I look at my garden, I ask myself…why did I grow radicchio? I can’t complain about the way that it’s growing and would definitely recommend it, which is more than I can say for cauliflower. The problem is that I just haven’t used it at all. So what’s the point of growing something if I’m not going to use it. It’s not that impressive for me to...

With the fall season upon us, I can look back at my initial May planting and say that I’m most disappointed in the cauliflower plant. Of all the plants, it’s the one that has done the least. It’s pretty much done nothing. A few weeks ago, I also said that I wouldn’t recommend growing red peppers in small spaces, but was proven wrong when they started to bloom again. At least that I got some peppers out of those plants though. With the cauliflower, I’ve gotten nothing. Here’s my thoughts on what could...

After planting the kale and lettuce the other day, I still had some plants left over to get in the dirt. I built two more self-watering containers, which was enough for two of the kale plants. Still had dandelions and lettuces left and was running out of space. Since the cinder block garden was working out so well, I turned over some more cinder blocks and planted the dandelion in there. That left me with the lettuces. My grandmother had some traditional pots leftover, so I reluctantly put some of the lettuces in them (because we all...

Since I harvested all of my celery last week, I had two containers that were empty. I wound up planting kale and lettuce in those containers. Having the gardening itch and fall already upon us, I had to plant something. In the one container I had a few celery plants. Some of the roots were still in the soil. When planting the kale, I did my best to plant around the roots. The other container that had the celery had a single plant in it, but the root was pretty large. The lettuces were planted around the large root. Not sure if the roots...

I learned a good lesson about planting herbs together in the same container. It’s not best to do so. Similar to planting celery in the same container – nothing horrible will happen, but the herbs won’t grow as well. When I first planted them in my backyard vegetable garden in Brooklyn, the herbs were planted two to a container. It just happened to work out that my grandmother had just enough containers to accommodate that, and I didn’t want to buy any more. So they were planted based on what I thought tasted well...

Photos from the week: It’s been a while since I gave an overview on both of the urban gardens, so thought now was a good time. I’ll start with my backyard vegetable garden in Brooklyn. Changed the layout due to my Grandmother’s excessive sprinkler use. Harvested my first cucumbers. Got two of them. Planted some kales and more arugula. Sweet pepper plant is starting to fruit more. On my fire escape vegetable garden: The cherry tomato plant continues to grow, but still producing. Harvested about a half dozen more...

Posted on Sep 14 2009 - 3:45am by Mike Lieberman
#7

At the advice of Trina from Silver Height Farm where I buy my plants from, she recommended the Pablo Head Lettuce. I bought a 6-cell pack and got them all in there. Each cell contained a few plants that I separated out. They were planted about 3-4 inches apart. When planting these I noticed that the soil was pretty shallow, maybe 2-3 inches at some points. This could be a reason why the onions didn’t get to be very large. At other spots the soil was about 4-6 inches. Either way, it should be good for the lettuce. I’m hoping...

Three cucumbers have started to come through on my cucumber plant, so I needed to relocate it to another part of the garden for better support. I moved it closer to the fence where I was able to train it up with some string. I was pretty happy to see the cucumbers since the leaves at the bottom have been drying out and dying. They were picked off and the cucumber trellis that I made was readjusted and tightened. After the trellis was tightened, the plant had to be propped back up on it and secured to the fence. Now I’m hoping that...

I’m back “home” in Philly this week visiting friends that I haven’t seen in a while. My old roommate and I got to talking about the gardening thing. He dropped a comment saying that I should read some books on gardening and stop with all the experimentation. If I were to do that, then I’d still be reading books, get overwhelmed with unnecessary info and likely get frustrated and just give up. Which is I’m sure has happened to some of you if you’ve even gotten that far. What did people do hundreds...