Indoor Update

Things are taking off but are also very disappointing in my indoor jungle. I have a lot of leafy growth, but not a single mentionable harvest except for that pesto the other week. I guess the few dozen dry navy, black, and azuki beans I harvested count as well, but they weren't nearly enough for any type of cooking, so I have sowed them for another crop in the hopes that I'll get enough for a bowl of soup. They have recently germinated, so we'll see how that goes.

But, there is still activity here in my living room slash tropical rainforest. After all the initial and ongoing vegetable failures, I have been utterly surprised and enhappied by the amount of plants I am now keeping alive.

This is edamame--not Envy, because I ran out of seed and they all died. It's Renee's Garden edamame. I have a few plants that replaced the spider-mited nasturtiums--there are also beans, some chard, and one nasturtium growing in this container in the window (which still contains spider mites. I changed the soil and everything, but spider mites are here to stay.).

With the Envy soybeans, I never really even noticed the flowers; suddenly one day, I just had some bean pods. This time, the flowers are sticking around--maybe the observable flowering is related to the variety or the time of year?

Here are some of my Gesneriad buys. The Episcia is actually doing wonderfully--as James Missier noted in comments when I blogged about this purchase, the bottom two Episcia leaves did turn yellow and I plucked them off, but the promised dormancy never happened.

For the first two or three weeks, I was diligent in misting around the plant once or twice a day to maintain the required moisture levels in the air. I haven't been as diligent lately--in fact, I haven't misted in about a week, and it seems just as happy. (The temperature is, on average, anywhere from 70 to 85 Fahrenheit with a relative humidity between 50 and 65%, depending on the time of day. Outliers exist, of course. The Episcia is about eight feet from the thermo/hygrometer, so I don't know the exact measurements, but I think it would be relatively comparable.) I water every few days, to keep it damp but not wet nor dry (although I have let it dry almost all the way out twice since I got it a little over a month ago--it's in a small pot, y'know). And by water, I mean Brita-filtered tap water (I don't give DC water to any of my plants, or even to myself).

When I first bought this from the Gesneriad Society Plant Show & Sale, it had one little runner (stolon). Now, that one has two (three, really, but the third is itsy bitsy) runners of its own (at least), and the main plant has a second runner (as well as a few itsy bitsy ones). I'm thinking these are good signs.

The Nematanthus brasiliensis, on the other hand, is looking a bit droopy. It had some roots, but since I put it in soil, it hasn't been looking so hot. That's alright--I had another rooting from a leaf that is doing well with my dwarf climbing jasmine.

Another good sign? This isn't a runner or new leaves--I think my Episcia is going to flower!

Speaking of flowering, my Cherokee keeps trying. This bud is actually on my potted Cherokee experiment, from the largest pot (3 gallons? I don't really know). I guess I have alluded to my experiment before, but here is what I'm doing in more detail--I took clippings from Cherokee, rooted them, and planted five pretty equal-sized ones in different locations. (No replications, I know, sue me--I'm not trying to publish a journal article, here!) One was in an 6-inch black pot, one in an 8-inch green pot, one in a 12-inch black pot (really big, 3 gallons?), another in another 12-inch black pot along with tons of other shi...stuff, and the last in the planter box, to the left of the other tomatoes. The first three got Miracle Grow potting mix (that's all I could find at the local hardware store when I impulse-decided to do this), the fourth had a mix of soils (in other words, I don't know), and the last had garden soil ammended with leaf compost.

Of course, the one in the 3-gallon bucket is doing the bushiest and best. But biomass isn't the determining factor here--production is. Of course, Cherokee Three Gallon is winning the flowerbud race, but who knows who will set fruit? I am still waiting for Cherokee The Tall And Bushy to do so, despite having six flowers open on him previously.

I'm rooting for Ace and the cherry tomatoes--maybe they'll do something that Cherokee is too finicky to do: procreate.

So... The garlic I was so happy about before went all dead (I glossed that over in the last big garden update). Instead of sticking new cloves in the deathbox, I decided to see if a little 5-inch pot would be sufficient to grow a bulb of garlic. Well, I have some leaves, which is the first step, at least.

The roots, however, seem to need a bit more space. We'll see if it cares that it's rootbound.

Oh oh! Here's my Kalanchoe daigremontiana that I totally intentionally acquired a little over a month ago. I didn't purchase them themselves; I bought the pregnant onion with a few Mother of Thousands in them from a nearby plant. They're doing well, as you can see!

So, here's the pregnant onion on the right, and my South African squill (well, three of the six) in the middle. The Streptocarpus at the bottom is doing alright--I had an accident and dropped him (twice), hurting a leaf, so I cut it off. It's still green and not dead, so I say score 1-Indoor Garden(er), 0-Streptocarpus Grim Reaper.

Here is one of the rehabilitating "rhizomatous begonias." All the leaves fell off after I ripped up the clumps in an attempt to make certain no more slugs were tagging along. But, as you should be able to see, new ones are thinking of coming in!

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3 Responses to Indoor Update

  1. Kenneth, WOW!! man your rolling. You wont believe how many times you come up in conversation when someone tells me that they don't have enough room to garden. I immediately call bullshit and then follow up by, "theres this guy in DC who runs a blog called the Indoor gardener........" and thats where the magic starts bro. Keep up the good work. Look forward to learning alot more.

  2. It looks like you are really busy. I just picked my first Cherokee purple tomato. I didn't expect them to flower so late. Good luck!

  3. Ha! I am glad my gardening can encourage others! It's rough, what with the lack of harvest, but I just didn't really pick varieties that are amenable to being grown indoors. I will fix that next year, for sure! Can't wait to see your next update--I am wondering how the chickens and compost pile are doing.

    Red, busy busy, most definitely. I only really spend about 30 minutes to an hour staring at my garden every day. I try not to be overattentive--it's really hard for me. Maybe now with the intense heat we've been having in DC (and in my apartment) my Cherokees will set some fruit!



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