Archive for the 'Urban Agriculture' Category

Garden 2018

Well, this year’s garden may surprise you. The last few years have been progressively worse and worse w/ my tomato plants despite efforts at crop rotation and soil replenishment. I decided to let my veggie plot go fallow this year, planting only a cover crop of Dutch clover to reenergize the soil. It was a tough decision, but I was tired of watching my tomato plants shrivel up and die year after year. In the fall I’ll till the clover into the soil and amend w/ some peat moss. Hopefully this will do the trick so next year I will have a healthy crop once again.

As you will see in the photos, I moved the herbs to the sunny spot where I had been growing zinnias. The herbs are now flourishing! In the pots next to the enclosure I have three type of basil growing – from left to right are Italian Genovese, Holy (also known as Tulsi) and Siam Queen (a variety of Thai basil). Looks like there will be plenty for pesto this fall! The perennials are doing great too.

Garden4 2018

Garden3 2018

Garden2 2018

Garden1 2018

Happy Summer!

Bruno

Garden Bounty

garden bounty 10-14-17

Harvested on 10/14/17. The pile of basil on the left is now a big jar of pesto waiting patiently in my fridge for some pasta!

Happy Eating!

Bruno

Garden 2017 – Update #1

Well, here it is mid-season and the garden is doing so-so. Once again I’m having problems w/ some tomato plants. The San Marzano have all but died and the Cherokee Purple are producing but are on their way out. I discussed this w/ a fellow gardener and they suspect the plants have a fungus. The rest of the tomato plants are doing fine at this point.

The basil, chard and jalapenos are all thriving. My other herbs probably need to be moved to a sunnier spot next spring. The tree they are beneath has grown quite a bit and is shading out the sun. I may move them next to the zinnias which get tons of afternoon sunshine.

As you can see in the photo of what I harvested yesterday, it looks like there’s salsa in my future!

Photos snapped on July 30th:

garden1 7-30-17

garden2 7-30-17

garden3 7-30-17

garden5 7-30-17

garden4 7-30-17

garden6 7-30-17

Good eats and garden treats…

Bruno

Garden 2017

This year’s garden… seeded on April 1st and transplanted on May 22nd. To insure better success I picked items that have done well in past years and omitted items that have not thrived in my yard.

For tomatoes, I chose Cherokee Purple (4 plants); Black Krim (4 plants); Speckled Roman (2 plants) and San Marzano (2 plants). I decided to only plant chard – Bright Lights (4 plants) and 5 Color (4 plants), and to omit kale because of worm infestation in past years. For hot peppers, I chose Early Jalapeno (6 plants).

As you’ll notice in the pictures, I rotated the location of everything in the enclosure because last year I had many tomato plants die or fail to produce. Hopefully the crop rotation will be helpful in reducing or eliminating this problem. After the final lettuce harvest I tilled the soil and put the tomatoes in that spot.

After heavy rains in April and May we finally have dryer weather. So far, all the plants are thriving in their new locations. My zinnia seeds were almost washed away by the heavy rains, but fortunately they are doing well. In the wildflower patch next to the enclosure I supplemented the area w/ a pack of perennial seeds called “Perennial Bloom”.

My herbs, especially the sage, suffered from the cold snap we had in early spring. I added a Greek oregano plant as well as a species of lavender that does well in Missouri. The older lavender plants did not return. Only Genovese basil was seeded this year in the pots in the enclosure. Some of the seedlings in the largest pot were eaten by something early on, but the surviving seedlings are doing well at this point.

Photos taken on 6/21:

garden1 6-21-17

garden2 6-21-17

garden3 6-21-17

garden4 6-21-17

garden5 6-21-17

garden6 6-21-17

garden7 6-21-17

Happy Summer Solstice!

Bruno

Garden 2016 – Update #2

This post is bittersweet… a few short weeks ago I was thrilled w/ how well my garden was thriving, however now it’s doing so-so. Two of my tomato plants have died (Moneymaker and Gold Medal) and two more (Cherokee Purple) are on the verge of kicking the bucket. On the bright side, the remainder of the plants are producing. Soon I’ll have my first ripe tomatoes and peppers of the season. The basil is coming in nicely and my chard and kale will be ready for a second harvest in the near future if I can continue to keep the leaf munching caterpillars away. Not sure if the 5 days of heavy rain last week was too much for some of the tomato plants. I’ll have to do some research to figure out the cause of the damage. So far the good outweighs the bad and I hope it stays that way!

 Photos snapped at 8 o’clock this morning:

garden1 7-10-16

garden2 7-10-16

garden3 7-10-16 Peppers

garden4 7-10-16 Black Krim

garden5 7-10-16 Speckled Roman and San Marzano

garden6 7-10-16 Cherokee Purple

garden7 7-10-16 Basil

garden8 7-10-16

garden9 7-10-16

garden10 7-10-16

garden11 7-10-16

Hoping for greener thumbs…

Bruno

 

Garden 2016 – Update #1

Wow, it’s only been a couple of weeks since my last post, but I’m very impressed by the progress of the garden and had to share how well it growing! The plants have doubled in size, the tomatoes are flowering and this morning I spotted the first baby tomato of the season. This week I harvested 2 big bags of lettuce, 1 big bag of kale/chard and a large quantity of oregano which is now drying in my kitchen. Lots of fresh greens for lunches and dinners!

The following photos were shot on June 7th:

garden1 june 7 '16

garden2 june 7 '16

garden3 june 7 '16

garden4 june 7 '16

garden5 june 7 '16

garden6 june 7 '16

Doin’ the happy gardener dance…

Bruno

Garden 2016

Well, it’s that time of year again to dust off the gardening tools and get growing! So far this season is starting off w/ plenty of rain. Fortunately there was a 2 day window of opportunity on May 14th and 15th to get everything in the ground. All the seedlings were started on April 3rd and were ready to go into their permanent new home. The basil (Italian Large Leaf and Italian Genovese), zinnias and marigolds were direct seeded on April 16th. The butternut squash had to be reseeded yesterday because the seeds I planted on May 14th were old and didn’t sprout. So far, all the seedlings have survived the transplant and are doing well in the ground. This year I put in 4 Swiss chard (two Bright Lights and two 5 Color Silverbeet), 4 kale (two Nero Toscana and two Red Winter), 2 Early Jalapeno, 5 Serrano Tampiqueno, and 12 tomato plants (one Gold Medal, one Crimson Carmello, one Speckled Roman, one Moneymaker, one San Marzano, three Cherokee Purple and four Black Krim). The Serrano peppers, Moneymaker and San Marzano tomatoes are new to the mix to see how well they’ll grow in my yard.

The following photos were taken on May 23rd:

garden2 May 23, '16 Zinnias (in foreground)

garden1 May 23, '16 The enclosure w/ basil and marigolds in pots

garden3 May 23, '16 Hummingbird and butterfly flowers

garden4 May 23, '16 Wildflowers

garden5 May 23 '16 Herbs

garden6 May 23 '16 Exterior of enclosure

So far it’s green thumbs up!

Bruno

 

Lettuces

lettuces1 2016

lettuces2 2016

This year’s lettuce crop is coming in nicely (along w/ some weeds!). I’m trying out some new varieties: micro greens (spicy mix), mesclun (chef’s gourmet spicy mix) and two types of arugula (regular and wild). The wild arugula is called Dragon’s Tongue and it grows very slowly… probably won’t put this in again next year for this reason.

Happiness is a green garden!

Bruno

 

Garden 2015 – Update #3: Fading into Fall

Well, summer’s almost over…what a bummer! Besides spring, it’s my favorite season. Gardening has been good this year. I already have a few ideas for next year that I’m looking forward to putting into action.

Here are a few photos that I shot this morning. As you can see, there are many tomatoes and peppers yet to be picked, and a few baby butternuts that hopefully will plump up for good eatin’! If you enlarge the photo of the zinnias and look closely at the top right flowers you might be able to spot a Monarch butterfly that stopped for some nectar to help it w/ the long flight to Mexico.

garden1 Sept 5 '15

garden2 Sept 5 '15

garden3 Sept 5 '15

garden4 Sept 5 '15

garden5 Sept 5 '15

garden6 Sept 5 '15

garden7 Sept 5 '15

garden8 Sept 5 '15

garden9 Sept 5 '15

Enjoy the final weeks of summer!

Bruno

Garden 2015 – Update #2: First Tomatoes!

We’re finally getting a normal rain pattern in St. Louis. A good soaking rain about once a week is just what the garden needs besides my daily watering. Getting some nice ripe veggies on a regular basis… this is why I love to garden!

The following garden pics were snapped on July 26th and on August 5th, voila, the first ripe bounty for my eating pleasure!

garden1 July 26 '15

garden2 July 26 '15

garden3 July 26 '15

garden4 July 26 '15

garden5 July 26 '15

garden6 July 26 '15

garden7 July 26 '15

garden8 July 26 '15

garden bounty1 August 5, 2015

I’m one happy gardener :-)

Bruno