Thursday, June 12, 2014

Urban gardening update, June 12th.

(I'm trying something special this year and am keeping a "photo blog," telling my story mostly through images but with a bit of description added as well, concerning my first-ever year of being an urban gardener. Check the "Garden 2014" photoset at my Flickr account for the entire series, including more photos for each entry than you see here.)

June 12: So, I finally had some time yesterday to get the last of my sprouts repotted into their final adult six-inch pots; I'm essentially now done with all my seeds and small plants, although I might do another round if I end up with the time and energy. (For what it's worth, a big chunk of my latest seedlings all died off literally over the course of eight hours the other week, after being next to an open window on a day when the weather unexpectedly plunged into the 50s while I wasn't home. Man, those seedlings will just die at the drop of a hat, I'm discovering, so fast that you can't even do anything about it; combined with Chicago's constantly shifting temperatures, this has presented a real challenge this year to my gardening experiments.) As you can see, my latest pot of moonflowers is growing in much more nicely than the first pot, which I think you can attribute to the warmer weather and the longer amount of sunshine each day; and the coleus is already starting to look great, just six weeks after I first planted the seeds, and I'm looking forward to seeing them blossom and fill with color even more as the summer continues. I'm also happy to say that my ivy cuttings from April 9th are now finally strong enough and big enough to be counted as a mini-plant unto itself, and looks really nice in its little four-inch clay pot on a shelf of my floor-length lamp; and my main trailing plants that I started earlier this year are still growing apace too, and the longest tendrils are now reaching down a good foot and a half from the pot lid itself.

In fact, there's really only one bit of sad news to report, which is that it looks like my sugar snap pea plant is on its last legs, without having ever produced any peas; the gardening guides all warn that these pea plants tend to die once the weather starts getting warmer, and it indeed looks like this is going to be the case soon with mine. In fact, this has been an important lesson I've learned about indoor gardening this year, which you can also see exhibited in my trailing plants; that there's a difference between the ability of a plant to simply GROW while indoors, and to grow big and bushy and with lots of leaves. Although I've been successful with most of the stuff I've tried this year, in terms of simply keeping it alive, certainly many of my more sun-intensive plants have turned out to only be scraggly-looking in their mature stage, and this will be an important thing to remember next winter when I'm making plans for year 2 of my gardening adventures. Anyway, more soon, I'm sure!

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