Greens Growboxes 2009

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Might as well start the topic, since I planted my first green outside today.

4 week old spinach testing life outdoors. Added some lime - they respond well.  Tarped it over with plastic, spinach not growing faster than ones not planted out yet 

2009-03-28: The seeds sprouted outdoors. Transplanted out the rest of the Little Caesar romaine and baby leaf spinach I started under seedling lights.

2009-04-04: Sowed breakfast and icicle radishes in one growbox, along an edge. Transplanted out a 2-week-old pod of Korean red curl lettuce (2 plants) started in the pro100.

2009-04-05: Sowed Korean red curl and Roman Emperor romaine on growbox edges, tendergreen mustard and toy choi in railing planters. [Um, I forgot I planted red curl there, and placed a kozy coat over it... oh, well.]

2009-04-28 & 05-01: cropped 2 Little Caesar romaines (whole).

2009-05-01: Sowed new lettuce box - Buttercrunch, Kojisan komatsuna, Four Seasons, Korean Red Curl, Little Caesar, Silvia red romaine.

2009-05-13: Reaped one of the oldest spinach to make way for squash. Reaped last icicle radish full-size - really don't like the flavor. Sowed 4 more radish seeds (French Blush and Pointiville) amongst the baby cukes.

2009-05-16: Added tan container to the greens project - planted lettuces little caesar, four seasons, Korean red curl, plus French blush radishes, baby's leaf spinach, kojisan komatsuna. Reaped bunches of mustard greens and toy choi. The toy choi had started to bolt.

2009-05-21: Harvested all the cool weather baby's-leaf spinach and mustard greens - all suddenly bolting. Sowed a few Bloomsdale Longstanding spinach to replace some of the baby's leaf, plus another Pointiville radish for a no-show in the tomato-cuke box.

2009-06-16: Removed the last of the greens from the tomato / zucchini growbox. Harvested two Little Caesar romaines yesterday to salvage them from the aphids, and apparently killed the third somehow. The spinaches were getting absolutely nowhere, so pulled them, too. All the growbox radishes have been harvested now, too.

2009-07-05: Replanted 2nd tan tub in swiss chard - added some lime, slow release Miracle Gro, and some more potting mix on top. Left one silvia red romaine - it was the only green in that pot that looked surviveable.

2009-07-19: Planted spinach (baby leaf & bloomsdale), gonzales cabbage, lettuces krc, buttercrunch, little caesar, and one other... On seedling shelf for transplant outside in August.

2009-08-06: Transplanted a couple spinach and 5 or 6 lettuces into the Bucks County tomato growbox. (Used to be a Lebanese squash sharing it, but now it's pretty open beneath the tomato plant.) I didn't label, so don't know what kinds of lettuce or spinach.

2009-08-08: Yanked last of the leathery summer lettuce and planted for fall: transplanted out remaining 2 spinach, a cabbage, and a lettuce. Planted seeds for another cabbage, couple baby leaf spinach, lettuces KRC (just 2 seeds), roman emperor (5), little caesar (6).

2009-08-23: Planted chard (annual bed - should like the alkaline cinderblocks) and toy choi and mustard (mid-deck railing planters). I'm hoping the chard will look pretty into November in the annual bed.

2009-08-29 ? : Seeded toy choi and mustard greens in railing planters.

2009-09-06: Planted radishes and more toy choi.

2009-09-16: Planted more radishes, toy choi, mustard greens in railing planters. Probably last outdoor plants for this year - should have night-time lows in the 40's by next week.

2009-11-01: Put a cloche back on each growbox and seeded one with toy choi, one tendergreen mustard green, one Little Caesar romaine.

2009-11-10: The cloches are sprouting.

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Ginger
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As expected, pretty

As expected, pretty lackluster performance from the spinach I planted out last week. No bigger than the ones I've kept in the seedling flat. But - not dead either. Not really a fair comparison - the seedling flats have been spending a lot of time in the sun, too. And the one outside has a plastic greenhouse much of the time.

Tarped it over with plastic, spinach not growing faster than ones not planted out yet  Closeup of spinach & lettuce - same cohort as the one in Growbox. 

It's not time to plant out the spinach and lettuce yet. Maybe next week (under plastic).

No sign of life from the seeds I planted in the other growbox yet. Today the container soil was lightly frozen again. According to the long-range forecast, in maybe 5 more days we finally climb out of the freezing nights.

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Ginger
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Good luck with the poppies!

Good luck with the poppies!

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jessijordan (not verified)
Buzzy seeds sent me a free

Buzzy seeds sent me a free packet of Poppies. I am going to give them a try for my grandmother in her front yard. She's 80 years old & she said in her little grannie voice "alright Jessica, that'd be real nice".

I told that I would plant them after last frost (listen to me sounding like a real gardener)

I would start them in my apt but I read that they do not tranfer well and should be planted where they will live. I am looking forward to that!

Ginger
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Stubborn, at least. Annual

Stubborn, at least. Annual flowers are easy... And there's a lot to be said for sunlight. The insects... are more of a problem...

Moderator. Author of Indoor SaladEcigs 102, and the Calm Act climate apocalyptic series.

jessijordan (not verified)
I love you guys! I have to

I love you guys! I have to say that I admire you with your outdoor gardens. You face so many issues and elements of nature working against you, yet you plant and replant undetered.

Ginger
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Ooh, thank you, Beth, very

Ooh, thank you, Beth, very interesting! I'm also tempted by the Bt variant specific to caterpillars. My petunias got inundated by those last year. Alas, my next-door neighbor is a major fan of birds and butterflies.

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Beth11
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Hi Gisette,   I buy mosquito

Hi Gisette,

  I buy mosquito dunks and put chunks in the bottom of my planters and birdbath.  Harmless bacteria (Bt) that kills mosquitoes.  It really cut down on the 'squito population!

Beth

 

 

 

 

Ginger
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Sure - this is the page with

Sure - this is the page with the cutaway diagram of how it works.

P.S. I suspect the Earthboxes might work better in NM because evaporation is such a problem. Whereas in CT, you'd kinda like to maximize use of rainwater, but it has to drain, because our summer 3-day monsoons can dump inches.

Edit:  then again, the Growbox reservoir is bigger than Earthbox's, and the plants do most of the evaporating, so... Might manage to survive longer on one refill, simply because it holds more water. And you know when it's full, and can add more water directly to the soil if it's dry.

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BB (not verified)
Hey gisette, give me an URL

Hey gisette, give me an URL for your growboxes. A google search turned up all sorts of things to grow "herbs" but no website for them. They sound like they're more open than earthboxes but similar. I'm curious.

Ginger
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Finished prepping my

Finished prepping my last-year growboxes today. One I planted with lettuce, spinach, and chard seeds last week, and unsurprisingly, no signs of life yet.

The other still had frozen soil last week, so I couldn't get the old tomato stems out. Now it's all set, and I transplanted one of my spinach seedlings out as a test. Nights are still below freezing, so its chances aren't especially good.

Both planters, I removed about half of the potting mix and dumped it in the garden, and topped off with fresh mix. Didn't like how their Moisture Control potting mix worked last year, and figure fresh mix will cut down on disease propagation. Added too much lime in one of the boxes, too.

I like the way Growboxes are more open than Earthboxes - the reservoir is bigger and has direct access, and they store rainwater, with the excess simply spilling out. But. The reservoirs got kinda green, and probably hatched mosquitoes. I pried one growbox apart to wash its reservoir, but it didn't go back together so well. Won't do that again. The other, now that the ice was melted I just dumped out, poured in peroxide, and dumped again. Duct-taped black trashbag flaps over the reservoir access ports. Hopefully that'll cut down on algae and mosquito breeding.

Moderator. Author of Indoor SaladEcigs 102, and the Calm Act climate apocalyptic series.

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