We’ve Started our Patio Garden for the Year!

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If you’ve been around here before, you know that the boyfriend and I grow various herbs and vegetables in containers in a small garden on our patio. Each summer we do a whole webseries on youtube documenting the process. I used to write posts on it as well, but I don’t have time anymore. If you’re interested, you can subscribe to our youtube channel to see new episodes each week.

So what are we up to this year? We’re growing some of our old favorites and also trying some new plants. We’re also experimenting with new ways to start seeds.

Here’s the full list of what we’re growing:

  • Basil
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Cilantro
  • Dill
  • Jalapeno Peppers
  • Strawberries
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Broccoli
  • Garlic
  • Jubilee Tomato plant

Check it all out in our first video of the season:

You can watch the rest of the videos from Season 3 in this playlist.

Patio Gardening 2011: Week 5 — Sprouts, Seedlings, and Fruit

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You may have noticed I didn’t do a post last week. Things have been crazy busy, so I didn’t get around to it. You can check out last week’s video for what you missed.

This week there’s not much more going. The only new things is our Dill from the Triscuit box has sprouted and the carrots have sprouted. We need to do a second pot of carrots soon, but today it is rainy and cold out, so we’ll put it off for a few days until it’s warmer outside.

The weather this week was crazy. It was in the mid 80s for several days (even reaching 90 in some areas), then on Friday the temperature dropped and it’s been cold and rainy ever since. I don’t think it’s effected the plants too much, but the basil and mixed greens have yet to sprout. That may or may not be related.

Otherwise, it’s still early in the season and there’s not much to get excited about yet. Everything seems to be at a pretty good pace.

Here’s a shot of the seedlings still in doors.

Here’s the carrot sprouts.

And here’s the little strawberries forming on our plants.

The boyfriend’s sprout project has gone well and he’s been enjoying those sprouts, which you can check out in the video for the week:

Patio Gardening 2011: Week 3 — Signs of Life

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Finally we got some signs of life these week from our planted seeds. In fact everything is sprouting except for the peppers and mixed greens.

I’ve been super busy so I don’t have time to do up a full post, but you can check out the video with all the details.

Also, we’re planting some dill thanks to Triscuit…

Check it out in the video for this week:

Patio Gardening 2011: Week 2 – Scaring Birds Away

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This has not been the best week in patio gardening history. This time last year we had seedlings popping up. Sadly this is not the case this year. Instead we just have pots of dirt.

Why is this? Who knows. I have a few theories.

First, once we planted the seeds last weekend the weather here in Chicago was just awful. Temperatures were in the 30s and it was cloudy and rainy almost every day. Even though we’re starting most of the seeds indoors, the lack of sun and cooler weather has probably effected them. So this is what we have:

We’re not discouraged yet. We plan to wait patiently for our little seedlings to (hopefully) emerge. In the meantime, the boyfriend is starting a back up plan to germinate some of the seeds in ziploc bags. Either way hopefully something will grow! This is super frustrating since we had no trouble starting seeds last year and actually had more seedlings than we could plant.

In other not so great news, we’re having problems with birds this year. We didn’t really have any problems last year because we started all of our seeds indoors. This year, apparently, our patio is a birds paradise. For about a month now, sneaky birds have been stealing bits of our coconut fibers from some of our planting baskets to build their nests. I’ve caught several in the act.

I wasn’t too worried about this–mostly just annoyed. Then today they really pissed me off. A few hours after I went out to water the strawberries and the spinach seeds, I came out again to get ready for today’s plantings, and I saw the birds had dug holes in all of the spinach pots and the strawberry pot too. (Unfortunately I was too mad to take pictures.)

Now we’re building bird scaring away devices (using strings and old CDs) and hopefully that will help keep them away for awhile. I think we’ll also look into getting a fake owl or something.

Today, in addition to replanting the spinach, we did a pot of carrots (we plan to do a second planting in two or three weeks) and a basket of mixed greens. Still on the planting agenda: basil and (a new addition) dill. Maybe that will happen next week. We’ll see what the weather is like.

It’s going to be warmer this week (40s and 50s), but another week of rain in the forecast, so hopefully the little seedlings will get enough sun to get going. If not, then I don’t know what will be the next step in our plan.

Anyway, check out our video for this week (where you can get a glimpse of the boyfriend’s ziploc bag system):

Patio Gardening 2011: Week 1 – Planting the Seeds

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We’re off to a good start this year. The weather was pretty cold and windy today, not exactly making for the best gardening weather, but we wanted to get started so we have seedlings ready to go out when the weather finally gets nice.

Our gardening adventure for the year started last week when we picked up three tiny strawberry plants from a local nursery. Originally we planned on growing them from seeds, until I did a little research and found out it could be a couple years before they’d produce fruit. So we splurged and bought some plants to put in our window box. So far they seem to be doing pretty well.

As far as the seeds go, we planted most of them today. Since we have limited space indoors, the carrots and the basil will have to wait a little bit longer for the weather to warm up a bit (yes, we’re doing carrots this year! Very exciting).

This is what we planted today:

  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Spinach
  • Oregano
  • Cilantro
  • Green Onions
  • Eggplant
  • Habanero Peppers
  • Jalapenos Peppers

I didn’t bother to take any pictures, because who really wants to look at a pot of soil? If we’re lucky there will be some tiny seedlings next week.

For now here’s our first video for this season:

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