Saturday, June 30

Gardening update - June 2018

I have not done a gardening/Garden Tower Project post in a couple of years!

Once upon a time (2011?)  I saw something about the Garden Tower Project online somewhere.  It's a really cool container garden concept where you can vermicompost your kitchen scraps in the middle of the tube and it feeds your plants nutrients.  It really works.  I get much larger plants and much better production in this tower than I do either in the ground or in regular container pots.

I bought their first concept, and then I also kickstarted their upgrate version (it was two inches shorter to make shipping significantly cheaper).   They came out with a newer, really cool,  modular version, but with two towers on my little townhome patio, I wasn't about to buy another one, though I was super happy with the unit and really do believe in what the company is doing.

Well, when we moved a year ago, I was concerned that there were cracks in it and that they might not make the move.   I also wanted to know if this is something I should expect with so little use (they were less than 5 years old, and they are not cheap), so I contacted them.    They were SUPER! awesome and gave me a new one for free, and then offered a second one at a very significant discount, so I bought the second one (yay!).    Unfortunately with the move and everything going on last year I didn't bother getting the unit started and figured I'd wait til spring of this year (2018).

I also want to put on one the downstairs patio (walk out from the basement) and one on the upper level deck, but we need to get the deck rebuilt, so that one is in the garage waiting.   The lower basement one is up and running.   I did not start my own seedlings this year (my preference because I like some of the unusual/heirloom stuff you can't get as seedlings), and just went to the farmers market and bought what I thought would be sufficient.  The usual - tomatoes, cukes (that I can never get to grow!), peppers, zucchini and herbs.

So this is where I am now:

You can *hardly* see the garden tower in there, and I'm afraid I'm going to lose a lot of tomatoes.  I had them staked, but we got two inches of rain in four days and had some very high winds.   I'm kind of hoping they grow over sideways and don't actually split - we'll see how that goes (ack!)

There is a large container there that you can just see.  I might have overdone it with the tomato planting, expecting most of them to not make it... only they did.   We have to water that pot every day because they're so thirsty and over laden.

You can see the zucchini in the ground in front; they were extras that I just threw in the ground wherever I could think of.   I want to put down a weed barrier and make that entire area mulched so I can put in bird stuff and not have to worry about the mowers.

My basil is quite happy as well.  I planted some old nasturtium seeds in there (where it's bare), but I guess they weren't good any more.

You can see the cucumber plants coming over the retaining wall, and I'm perfectly OK with that (not so much the old AC unit that needs replacing).

A close up of the basil (after I got back from my trip).

These cuke and zucchini plants are actually where the hydrangeas will be going... but again, I overdid it on the purchasing, so I threw them in the ground.   I have better plans for next year, so we'll just have to see how that goes.  In the meantime, these guys are happy, though I did not put down a weed barrier, so I'm having a heckuva time keeping the grass out of that (I'll rectify it in the fall).

And up close shots of all the produce I'm proud of ;)

I gotta say, after living in a very sterile suburban area, it's super nice that the bees pollinate for me, instead of me having to hand pollinate!

This is what I brought to work last Monday (running out of space in the fridge!).
I planted all "pickling" varieties of cucumbers, but they're growing so fast I miss them when they're little!

And this is what I brought to work on Wednesday (before I left):

And this is what I came home to on Monday!   They're growing so fast!
That one cucumber is as big as a zucchini!   And that zucchini is almost as big as my forearm!

I measured it.  I was in shock!  And it's really good (not all seeds or tough).

I knew leaving my cutting mat out would be useful for something!
So these are my current garden (mis)adventures.   My plants are super happy in their new location;  My old place only got Eastern sun, and this gets a lot more, which is clearly very helpful.   We've also been planting trees along the edge of the yard and I've been mulching in a nice wide space from the fence so we don't have to weed/mow the fence line.

I want to put in some filler bushes, but I might throw any extra plants in those beds next year just to see what happens - I do plan on putting in weed barrier in the locations I planted this year, and I want to put in two raised garden beds along the western fence line for things like squash, cucumbers, and pole bean.    Big plans!  We'll see how it goes! :)


  1. Great job with all your plants. We plant tomatoes and we have so far had a great year. Hope it keeps that way.

    1. Awesome! I'm looking forward to the tomatoes. Getting a bit tired of the rest :D

  2. Wow, that's some awesome produce you have! That garden tower looks like a really cool concept. I kind of wish I'd read about it earlier - I've recently been wanting to get some kind of plants on our balcony (I've never been much of a gardener before), but it's too late in the year to really set something up now I'm afraid.

    1. That garden tower has been the best thing! I both love the condensed planting/produce *and* putting scraps in the composter to reduce the garbage. Between composting, recycling, and trying to go as minimal-disposable as possible, I"m pleased at how little garbage output we have.


Please feel free to leave any kind of comment or question I love and will answer comments, and if you're new to me I'll stalk you over to your blog and add it to my feed!