Saturday, June 8, 2013

FLIP's Victory Garden: The Tower - June Update

I know you're all aching to know how the garden tower is progressing after a month, so I have taken a few photos.
Left, the tower on May 3, right the tower today.
Watching seedlings is like in-betweening a long scene with four characters all on ones; progress is brutally slow.  For about three weeks after the left photo was taken, it looked pretty much like this.  Then, like elves switched out my plants overnight, it suddenly looked like the photo on the right.    

We've had a  cool spring, or at least a normal spring as compared to last year, so vegetation has waited for some warm days to take off.  Lettuce, which usually is picked in May and June, was not amounting to much until this week, when it worked overtime to catch up.  
Salad, anyone?
This was also the first time I grew lettuce from seed, so I probably got a late start.  But having grown lettuce conventionally, I am looking forward to not having to wash dirt out of it.  There always seemed to be a little residual grit to go with our salads, no matter how tenaciously the lettuce was washed.

It won't be long before I'll need to tie up the tomato plants, in the middle section, and by next weekend, we should have our first zucchini.  Or is it squash?   Both are growing along the bottom row.  I put them there intentionally so the heavy plants can rest on the base.  
Zucchini or squash?
In an Italian restaurant, I once had zucchini flower stuffed with ricotta.  Holy crap, that was good.  I'd never heard of it before, and have not seen it since.  Did I dream it?

So far, maintenance on the tower has been laughable compared to my old garden.  Once a week, I add about five gallons of water, plus the nutrient mixture.  I also check the PH levels.  The PH is important, since some plants like it acidic and some like it base.  I was bad about checking this at first, and the plants looked a bit yellow and sad.   The plants I chose all like base, so when I  started keeping it at  7.0 or higher, the plants took on an intense green, healthy look.  The overall time spent fussing with the garden is no more than fifteen minutes a week, where I used to spent about four hours a week getting cooked in the sun.  Basal cell carcinoma, anyone? 

The next update will include a taste test! 

Read last month's post here.

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