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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
HARVEST DATA:

June 1 - Sept 6:

Onion greens, washed & chopped, cups: 10
Peppers: ~100
Yellow bottle tomatoes: ~50
Goliath tomatoes: ~20

cucumbers, ~3 inches: 48 - finished for the season
Basil, washed & chopped, cups: 13 - finished
Peas, shelled, cups: 3.5- finished


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I thought I'd post pictures of some of my little garden plots. Gardening in urban spaces is actually pretty easy if you can find the space and get the initial project going.

The heat island effect of urban spaces can protect against winds and frost. Also the surroundings can provide some shifting shade and shelter for plants.

The tomato plot is my favorite, it's the first plot I put in, several years ago. We doubled the size after it performed well. I've tried a few different plants here but it's tomatoes & peppers that thrive. I have 2 other plots about half the size of this one for squash, beans, & cucumber. Since they climb and trail I don't need as much space. I tie up the tomatoes with the Florida Weave style and keep the leaves pruned. With this method I get twice the tomatoes from this plot than I used to. We get enough tomatoes for 3 adults to eat daily for about 3 months. We get enough peppers for up to 2 years since I dry the hot ones.

The pea plot is the smallest :) I did it last year, excavated about 6-8 inches deep & replaced with enriched potting soil. I got 3 batches of peas last year. I planted in March, late June, and early Sept. (I'm late this year - just planted for the first time over the weekend.) There is pavement on the outside of the fence of the plot and it heats the soil well so the peas germinate and grow quickly.

Pea seeds are easy to save and start. I only ever bought 1 pack of peas.

I fertilize about twice a year, early spring and early summer.

There is a 2nd floor apartment in my neighborhood that has a large box of salad growing at each window :) No slugs!!

Urban and community gardens are getting more common, which is great! I saw an article recently on negotiating for the use of vacant lots for community food production which is a great idea.
 

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Very nice. Keep us updated! Even though it wasn't 'urban', I remember the joy of realizing we could grow some amazing peppers on our rooftop. Everything else got scorched, but the peppers thrived there (and oddly the carrots! We used homemade compost in 5-gallon pots to grow the peppers and the carrots came from the compost. Huge things-- they were impressive!)
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Peas after 7 days. The packet said 7-14 days to germination, 60 days to harvest. It's took 5 days to germinate and last year I could start harvesting at 45 days.

The peppers have started flowering also.
 

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Your little space must hold some extra heat that the peas love.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
First pics were taken 12 days ago.

Tomatos and peppers have doubled in size. I've pruned back the tomato leaves twice thus far.

Peas will be climbing in a few days.

Hot temps here. I water lightly once each morning (watering at night can encourage mildew and slugs).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The other side of the pea plot.

Morning glories; their roots are in the same soil as the peas (you can see a pea leaf through the fence crack). When the morning glories come up I push them out under the fence.

The pavement here gets hours of direct afternoon sun.

Pavement is usually laid on gravel so an urban plot can have pretty good drainage built in.

Tip for tying: use all-natural string so that the whole thing can be cut to the ground and composted at the end of the season.
 

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i just love to look at the succession of photos !
i meant to plant in pots on my balcony again .... but so far have not started anything for one reason after another ... now thinking i'll be planting stuff when we return from holidays mid July (although neighbor offered to come and water plants during our absence ...)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The tomato plot 14 days from the first post.

Yesterday I took basil & onion greens that amounted to about 1.5 cups of each, washed & chopped. This is the second cutting.

Tying up the tomatoes takes about 10 minutes, I tie another row of string low and scoot it up as the plants grow (pruning leaves as we go). The bottom branches I cut off & the middle branches I cut back by about half, for sun & airflow. It's a tomato espalier.

The tomatoes in front of the meter are bush tomatoes and I've also thinned them out & am pinching off the tops now so they get thick & bushy instead of tall & droopy. These are yellow bottles, my grandfather's favorite which I also love, and I never grew them before, can't wait to see what happens :)
 

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i cannot see the pepper yet (.... but still without glasses for a couple of weeks !)
the white background with the horizontal plank at the back really helps to see how fast it's growing though !!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
i meant to plant in pots on my balcony again
Hi Isa, what do you like to plant? Do you have a lot of pots? Big, small?

I want to take a picture of my neighbor's porch where they have pots of veg stacked around willy nilly but I never see anyone out to ask permission. Their produce looks excellent.

If you get something started on your balcony please share some pics! :)
 

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I have 3 large round pots on the floor and 2 narrow long ones on the railing ... but this year, i haven't yet planted anything !!! (one small health issue after another ... i thought i would have time after my eye operation ... i expected the "no sport for 10 days" .... but i didn't expect the "no dust and no gardening either "LOL)
Last year i had baby kale (i tended to harvest about 20 leaves for a daily salad) and some chives .... & i would like to branch out and try different things too ....
oh, i also planted some potatoes just to see what type of flowers would come out (after reading something out of a book about it !) .... i cannot recall i saw any flowers ... the pot was VERY small & it was germinating potatoes i had forgotten and wasn't about to peel and eat ... and surprise, surprise, a few months later - i cannot recollect precisely - ... i actually HAVERSTED potatoes , just small ones, but i ate them !!!!
 

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writing about it may spur me on tomorrow (+ 15 days after the eye operation) .. to clean up the balcony of the accumulated mess and actually USE the soil i went to buy ages ago "in a hurry" because ... i was going to do it immediately ......
well, i read and crocheted a lot instead this spring ...
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Too bad you haven't been able to do any gardening, but I hope that you are soon back to your best health!

Kale is so easy & produces well, as you mentioned. I have a half-barrel that I use for salad greens and also small carrots, beets, and radishes. I can usually get 3 different harvests from it each year. I did kale this spring and now I've tried cucumbers and they LOVE it in the barrel, so if this continues to succeed I will do it again next summer. I wonder if your pots would produce any of these.

I have seen that potato vine is a common addition to flower arrangements but I'm amazed that you harvested potatoes from a pot :eek: I think that is my favorite urban gardening story of all time!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
The half barrel with cucumbers. This is the first year I've had successful cucumbers. I was planting them in the ground with the squash & they didn't produce, they mildewed. There are too many plants in this pot, I planted the remainder of last year's seed pack doubting that they would amount to anything but was I wrong :)

The barrel with cucumbers takes 1-2 gallons of water each day; with lettuce or radishes it takes 1 gallon a day.

Other than the initial addition of enriched potting soil and 2 applications of chicken-poo-pellets, I haven't fertilized anything and won't again this year.

It's been high 80s during the day mid-70s at night, and rainy here. I'm only watering the barrel since nothing else needs water.
 

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