Hello you beautiful people,
This is an update to my first post found here:
I have had lots of success with my first set of crops off of my window farm, and lots of “oppurtunities for growth” (ha!).
The vast majority of luck I have had has actually been with my pepper plants! I have taken a first harvest off my cayenne pepper, which was so bountiful that all of the peppers I could not manage to use for cooking I am now drying so I can grind them into my own homemade cayenne pepper spice.
Also, I was pleasantly surprised when my first pepper plant (whose seeds came from a mixed bell pepper grab bag) turned out to be purple! Huzzah!
The thing I am really enjoying about my pepper plants is that even though they are usually very difficult to grow in Canada because of the limited growing season, an indoor garden growing season is limitless, so you can give them as much time as they need. Also, they are productive yet compact, which is means they don’t over take other plants in my system. I am having the opposite of the experience with my tomatoes. They have managed to take over the entirety of the window and the productivity to space ratio just really is not cutting it! I planted mainly small tomato varieties, since I was nervous about how much weight my system could hold. For my next round of small tomatos I will have to do some more pruning. I did sucker all of my current tomato plants, but I really plan to discourage them from getting so tall next time.
Another issue I am wondering if anyone else is experiencing, is that a lot of my tomatoes have succumb to blossom rot (black spots on the bottom of the tomatoes). I ripped out a gigantic yellow pear tomato plant because all of the 20 tomatoes it was growing developed black spots on the bottom! Does anyone else have any experience with this issue?
I have finally gotten around to upgrading my air lift system to a t-valve setup, which I have been really enjoying. I now only have to fill up my reservoirs every 4 or 5 days, as opposed to every day and a half. Which is great that I don’t have to worry about my plants when I head up to the mountains for a long weekend!
My other crops which have been moderately successful have been beans and peas. However, both of these plants only produced a small serving of fruit each, which was great for a snack, but not terribly effective as a serving of vegetables with a meal. Even so I have planted more of both peas and green beans, since they are so quick to grow. Also, the snap peas in particular are incredibly tasty.
I am learning that for the most part, my window farm is an awesome project that I really enjoy, but only very specific crops actually yield a really useable harvest. Which is totally fine, as long as you look at your project as an awesome hobby, not a substitute for grocery shopping.
My new crops that I am currently sprouting include dwarf kale, brandywine tomatoes, black beauty eggplants and edamame beans! I am extremely excited about the eggplant, since they are genetically similar to peppers, I am hoping that they will behave in a similar manner to the peppers in the system. Also, I am hoping the brandywine tomatoes will give me a little more bang for my buck with growing space, because they are supposed to be huge! The packet says 12 to 20 oz., so fingers crossed!
Also, if any one is wondering if power bills have been effected at all by my aquarium pump and three grow lights, it has not! My power bill still ranges between $65 and $70 dollars a month, and I think it is alot more dependent on how much I use my clothes dryer, than keeping my grow lights on.
I would love to hear any input about the blossom rot issues, tomato pruning tips, and what varieties of plants others are having lots of success with!
Happy Urban Gardening