It’s been a few weeks since I planted my cucumber plant. It was starting to grow outside of the container, which is a good thing (at least it ain’t dying). So I built a cucumber trellis for it using mostly recycled materials. Tools and materials: Old poles put out by someone for garbage. You can use anything that is sturdy enough and stands upright such as tree branches, old crutches or broom sticks. Strong tape to tape the poles to the container. String to tie around the poles and make the trellis. Scissors Steps to...

I planted some kale and swiss chard out on my fire escape because there is no doubt that my lettuce died and weren’t growing any more. Before I planted the kale and chard, I had to prepare the soil in the self watering container first. The dead remains of the lettuce were removed and some of my indoor compost was added to the soil and mixed in. Even though I only bought one cell of each, there were many plants in the cells. There were about 3-4 plants in each. I separated them out, but still bunched them together when planting....

I learned a valuable lesson in gardening (and life) this week, it doesn’t pay to be lazy. A few weeks ago, I transferred my celery into a new self watering container and didn’t poke a hole to allow for water drainage. Sure enough with all of the rain that we’ve been getting here, the bucket became nearly submerged under water. The celery was getting water logged and starting to die off. Celery drinks a lot of water, but not that much. I had to poke a drainage hole in the container to allow the water to drain out and...

It’s been a bit over a week since I planted my upside down herb garden on my fire escape again. I planted them in soda bottles that were recycled into the upside down planters. The results are the same though. Death. So unless I am doing something horribly wrong, I wouldn’t recommend building and using this contraption to grow your herbs. The first time I planted them, the herbs died quickly as well. It could’ve been because the soil was too heavy or because of my not so gentle hands. So I decided it was time to give...

Last month, I was nervous that I killed my lettuces when I harvested them. Luckily for me, the lettuces were fine and grew again. So now, here I am one month later and facing a similar situation. I’ve gotten about 4-5 harvests from this container of lettuce and it’s starting to show. I’m not sure if this lettuce better days are behind it or if it still has some fight left. I went to Trina from Silver Heights Farm and asked her what she thought since she is who I bought them from. She said that they still be good for...

I was at my Grandmother’s one day and talking to one of her friends about gardening. We got talking about compost, so I mentioned the indoor composting set up in my kitchen. She said that she’d blend up the food scraps and put them in her composting bin when she kept one. That’s a great idea and not sure why I never thought of it. Especially since my composting mistake. By putting the food scraps in a blender or food processor, it helps to break the it down. Then when it’s put in the compost bin, it’s closer...

Once your lettuce grows to be about 4-6 inches, you can safely harvest it and it will grow back again. To harvest, simply place your thumb and pointer fingers about 2 inches above the soil and snap off the leaf. Place in your harvesting basket and continue. It’ll likely take a week or so for your crop to grow again for another harvest. ...

In case you are new or couldn’t tell at this point, I am new to this gardening thing. Just taking things as they come. The one thing that I do know (I think) is that when plants start to flower, they are coming near the end of their productive lives. So I was a bit concerned, when my basil plants began flowering so early. What’s a man to do when his basil plant is coming to it’s end? I did what anyone else would do these days…I asked my peoples on Twitter. Luckily for me, master gardener Teresa O’Connor of...

Since I am gardening in such a small space, I need to make sure that I am maximizing every inch possible. When I was doing my initial research, I came across the Instructable on upside down hanging planters. Perfect for my fire escape and for this project. Using recycled materials, so it’s inexpensive and efficient. They are also easy to make. Tools and materials 2L soda bottle Duct tape Razor Hole puncher Thick twine or thin rope Instructions on how to make an upside vegetable planter Use razor to cut off bottom third or...

I finally got around to starting my upside down herb garden after killing it last month. Since the first go around was such a success, I decided to take it slowly this time and just planted some parsley. Here’s a step by step as to how I planted the parsley upside down in my herb garden. I stress “gently” because I was anything but in the first go round. Gently separate out one of the parsley plants. Gently place into the container. Feed through and gently pull through the bottom. Pat down the soil. Fill container with...

After two months, the cherry tomato container on my fire escape is starting to produce fruit and was starting to get a bit wild. I needed to keep it in check and set up some kind of support for them. The following materials were used to do so – tree branches, string and tire wire. Three tree branches were attached to the fire escape (so that people can still grab the railing in case of emergency) using the tire wire and one was staked in the middle to support the entire plant. Then I tied string to the branches and wound up forming...

Posted on Jul 17 2009 - 3:00am by Mike Lieberman
#6

I finally got a around to buying and planting a new cucumber plant in my Brooklyn garden. After the first week, the first cucumber plant died. At the advice of the gardener that I bought it from, I did not separate the plants and just planted them together. This one better last longer. Just sayin. ...

I needed to transplant my celery into a new self watering container because the telephone pole in my Grandmother’s neighbor’s backyard rotted and crashed into her backyard. Luckily, nobody was hurt. Can’t say the same for my celery container. When the pole fell, it hit the pipe, which in turn cracked the reservoir. I used duct tape to patch up the hole because duct tape fixes everything. It’s a myth, don’t believe the hype. The container was still leaking. Thankfully, I still had some green tubs left over...

I didn’t want to have another post about my Grandmother so soon, but after spending the day with her yesterday I had to post a little something. I spent the day with her to help clean out her shed and take care of some chores around the backyard (because I am such a wonderful grandson.) As I was about to leave she asked me to pick her some lettuce for her dinner. If you didn’t catch the first post about her, she called my lettuce “grass” when I asked her to taste it. So I was shocked when she asked me and her thoughts...

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been showering my lettuce plants with love because they’ve been producing the most. Nearly forgot that I had peppers and tomatoes planted on my fire escape as well. Luckily for me, they didn’t hold it against me and are starting to produce. There is a small sweet Italian pepper that has formed and is doing it’s thing (whatever it’s called) with lots of flowering going on. My cherry tomato plant is also blooming (I’ll use different phrases until I find out what the proper...

When I last left you, I was wondering whether or not I properly harvested my lettuce. It was a week since I had harvested them and they were looking…dead. This is my first time checking in since returning and am happy to say that the lettuces are ok and fully growing. It just took a bit longer after harvesting for them to grow again. There is still some browning towards the bottom, but the growth is there. I appreciate the comments that were left about lettuce not liking the heat and how to deal with that.I’ll definitely take...

Let me start this post by saying that I’ll be taking off for a week and a half. Going on a camping trip to the Grand Canyon and Utah. Try not to miss me too much. Now on to the post… Last week, I harvested my lettuce for the first time and was pretty happy. This week, I might be able to substitute the word “kill” for “harvest”. I think I clipped them too close to the roots and killed them. Dead. Done. No more life. On a good note, I didn’t kill the tomato plant. It actually started to flower...

I spend a lot of time with my Grandmother. One day during the winter we got to talking and I expressed my interest in wanting to grow my own vegetables. She offered up her backyard, which was great. As much as I wanted to utilize it, it wouldn’t have been fair to her because some of the responsibility would be on her shoulders. Door to door Gram is about an hour commute from my Manhattan apartment. So making that trip 3-4 times a week would’ve been a bit much for me. She just turned 90 a few months back, but she’s still...

After not checking in for a week, I was bit nervous in checking in on my vegetable garden in Brooklyn. Luckily with the ridiculous amounts of rain that we’ve been getting, things looked good, but some of the containers showed signs of pest problems. The first problem that I noticed was on the collard greens. Some of the leaves on the left side were a bit chewed through. Most of the bigger leaves were untouched. I didn’t notice any pests on them while I was there. At this point, I’m not seeing this as a huge problem, but...

Last month, I read the book Plenty. There was a passage in it about “food traceability” and how our food travels on the average 1,500 to 2,000 miles from farm to plate. That has stuck with me, well because that number is insane. Besides the distance that it traveled, what about what else went into getting that food to me. How was it treated? Who are the people that worked to get it to me? How were they treated? Even though I didn’t start from seed, I can tell you that I got the planter from Trina at Silver Heights Farm,...