Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Last Season Garden Review: Windowbox Veggies

Well I'm certainly blogging slowly this spring! My last year garden review posts are about to crash into this year's activities. Ah well, sometimes life gets too hectic for regular blogging...hopefully now I can keep up :) 

Anyhow, last year's windowbox plan was a departure from pretty flowers and into pepper production. In this box we have (from left to right): dichondra 'Silver Falls', hot pepper 'Serrano Del Sol', sweet pea 'High Scent', hot pepper 'Ancho Magnifico', and dichondra 'Emerald Falls'. Along the back of the box I also sowed Italian flat leaf parsley, all was planted up June 14th (the plants were started early indoors).
In this box is a sort of "mirror image" of the other one, something I obsessively do every year with my window boxes. From left to right: dichondra 'Emerald Falls', hot pepper 'Italico', sweet pea 'High Scent', hot pepper 'Hot Portugal', and dichondra 'Silver Falls'. Again the Italian parsley was sown along the back, both for the companion planting benefits and the fact that I feel that you just can't have too much Italian parsley :) 
As for soil, I don't replace it every year in any of my planters. Instead, I add some Soil Moist crystals to aid moisture retention and amend with horse manure (or compost, bat guano,  whatever's handy).

Wow! By July 15th the peppers have really taken off! I already had to stake the plants, guess they're happy to be displayed here like flowers.
By July 29th I had peppers large enough to harvest, the first to mature being the 'Serrano Del Sol'. At this point I'd already harvested some parsley as well, with no sign of any pests. Looks like companion planting is working!
This is a glimpse of one pepper harvest, though some are from other planters around the yard. Last season was a good one for me, pepper-wise.

As the season wore on, the peppers hooked me up with 6 seperate harvests and there were three good parsley gatherings. Insects seemed to enjoy the parsley in September, but they left the peppers alone (which was the point.) As you can see, the peppers got quite tall....
...and the dicentras cascaded down the sides (though not quite as lush as I'd hoped.)
But the sweet peas did nothing! Bupkiss!! No blooms whatsoever, despite lots of sun and vigorous growth. Anybody have any ideas as to why they didn't flower?

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Creative Outlet For Gardeners

Awaiting the arrival of spring can make a gardener fidgety. Sure, you can force bulbs, start seeds, or play with your houseplants...but I'm looking for a creative distraction. Enter Build A Sign ! You can design your own bumper stickers...see what I did?
You can also design your own signs! They are available in a variety of materials, my designs are in alumium for durability...
...I used the clip art images on their website to decorate them....
...as well as their arrows for the signs I plan to place at each intersection. You can also upload your own images for some amazing, fully-customized results. I'm kind of a "basic" girl, at least for this project...

....can you tell what I have planned for the upcoming season? Much as I would LOVE to turn my hobby into a business, it's baby steps for now. But hey, the more I sell then the more new plants I can afford for myself! :) If you need bumper stickers, signs, or even banners for an upcoming event, check out the folks at Build A Sign...you'll be glad you did!

Disclaimer: Build A Sign gave me these complimentary items in exchange for a review. The opinions expressed here are honest and all my own.