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Gardening in the City Blog
Happy Seed Starting Time! PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 13 March 2012 07:09

The daffodils are up and we already heard a robin singing here in Jersey City. Here's hoping winter doesn't roar back in. Anyway, I've started some favorites inside here. Check out the Garden Giveaway link (below the poll on the home page menu) for the largest collection of free to order seed catalogs that I've ever seen. The time is now to get your orders in. I've used the Jiffy Peat pots and plastic greenhouses again. You can find a picture and short review in the Reviews You Can Use section. These work for leafy veggies, lettuce, chard, kale, even tomatoes and flowers. I would not try them with radishes or carrots though (anything that is a root veggie). i would use the small pots with soil for those.

This year, I have started kale, chard, Snow peas, lettuce, purple basil, moonflowers and some cosmos inside. Kale and chard have proven to be very tasty, loaded with vitamins and can stand the heat of summer better than lettuce. (they don't go to seed as fast.) On order from Burpee are tomato plants (this year it's Big Boy tomatoes) and the sweet red pepper plants that did so well in the garden last year. The early tomatoes did not do so well in the garden last year, I suspect due to the colder weather we had in May and June. Returning in this year's lineup are the blueberries (two plants), blackberry (one), chives, some parsley, lavender and columbine. These spent the winter in the square foot box that was turned into a coldrame.

Seed Starting Inside

Viewing the online poll here, it appears most gardeners are on their way with planning their gardens. Thinking and planning ahead always lead to a better season. You can schedule an early spring crop and have the next round of plants or seeds ready for summer or early fall. With a little pre-planning, you can extend your growing season from early spring well into the fall. Happy Gardening!

Last Updated on Saturday, 24 March 2012 07:25
Orchid in Bloom PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 09:59

The first of the winter orchids has bloomed. This yellow phalaenopsis helps brighten the window up here. Seems we are getting off to a slow start this year, maybe because many of these plants have been here for over 5 years now! Since the light didn't do the color justice, I brought it outside and took a pix in the sun.

New features are being added to this site. GARDEN GIVEAWAY will feature a weekly garden freebie of some sort, or coupon.This week it's a free catalog from the NY Botanical Garden of their classes. What is of special interest are the short DIG IN classes being given on Saturdays at various locations including midtown Manhattan, the Botanical Garden itself and in Westchester County, NY. The classes cover everything from container gardening to identifying edible species of plants locally. Look into the pdf to find out more. The Garden Giveaway link appears on the left hand column under the poll.

Let us know where you are with your garden planning for this year. Based on responses we can tailor info we present. For instance, if more people are interested in seed starting we will feature that. Or, if more are interested in buying plants we can hunt down sources for that topic.

The third new feature is called REVIEWS YOU CAN USE. I am a customer of my own My City Garden Store. The store features items that have been picked out for relevance to gardening in small urban spaces. I'll give a short review of items I have bought and actually use. I just bought a indoor greenhouse/rack,so you can see a short review of that purchase. The link appears in the main menu.

Last Updated on Saturday, 24 March 2012 07:25
Flowers in Winter -- Well, it's supposed to be winter now PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 01 February 2012 15:52

With some orchids finally waking up into buds, we've also got the peach hibiscus and the orange geranium in flower. Really nice to see when outside is so grey and dismal. The cherry tomatoes in the aerogarden are getting ready for a a salad appearance and we just harvested and ate most of the kale (yummy steamed and fried with onions, Spike and butter) and salad greens. Nice to have real fresh food in the winter.

Right now, it's about 60 degrees out on the first of February. Granted, February is when the balance swings to things warming a bit, usually with more snow, but we've only had 2 snows, one in October and a light one last month. Sitting outside in a sweater is nice, but seeing a honeybee flying around, bulbs coming up like it's March makes me think plants aren't really gonna get rested and the non beneficial bugs like fleas aren't going to be eliminated. Anyway, it's out to the coldframe to check on the residents there. The berries, columbine, lavender, etc. seem to be doing pretty well in there.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 February 2012 15:56
Happy New Year 2012 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 01 January 2012 16:05

Happy New Year to all!
We've already started receiving the seed catalogs here. This represents the start of the new season for us. Finding new varieties, thinking about experimenting with some new flowers or veggies is nice when it's not so nice outside. Thing is, it's been pretty warm here. The spring bulbs are popping up which isn't so good for them when the real cold comes back again...

The state of the bay window and the indoor gardening scene are pictured below.

Tiny white orchid

Rosemary Plant with tiny blue flowers

A window dweller.

Heritage Cherry Tomatoes growing inside.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 February 2012 15:58
Greens in December PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 13 December 2011 09:54

Here is the last harvest of greens from outside (except for some Kale and Chard that are living in the coldframe!) What's unusual about this is that this is the latest in the season I have ever been able to harvest these kinds of greens from outside. We did have a snow on October 29, but not a hard freeze. I harvested these greens on December 11th and sure enough, later that night, there was a freeze as evidenced by the ice the next morning on top of the coldframe. We've gone through all the red peppers and tomatoes that we had ripened inside in brown paper bags or living in the crisper drawer of the fridge. We still have plenty of little cayenne and hot peppers though. They add a nice zing to dishes and help the immune system.

The two aerogardens are going strong. We've been getting some nice Red Sails and Arugula leaves from the Salad Greens one and the Cherry tomatoes have blooms and the first tomatoes -- I have to be the bee here.... From here on in it will be flowers (Orchids, Amarylis, Hibiscus and herbs (Rosemary, Chives and Sage sorry no Parsley or Thyme, whatever I can scrounge out of the coldframe and the harvests from the indoor Aerogardens.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 February 2012 16:00
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photo: Jeannie Cote


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