Saturday, May 1, 2010

Paying for themselves

I planted some of my extra tomato seedlings yesterday because I was bored and didn't want to work. Did I need more tomato plants? NO. This brings us up to 7 tomato plants on our balcony, only 2 of which are made for small space gardening. If they get too large we may need to give some away. I predict some mid-season transplanting, as in transplanting it from our balcony in to someone's yard.

If we don't have tomato success this year then I will be very cranky and give away my tomato seeds. Of the 3 years we have been growing tomatoes we have only been able to harvest less than a dozen tomatoes. The squirrels get the rest or sometimes disease.

We have an earthbox for 2 tomato plants and bought a container for another plant that I figure will last about 3 years.  The other tomato containers are old and faded, so they are working to earn their new homes next year. All together the tomatoes need to grow $50 or more worth of tomatoes to make it worth it. Last year heirloom tomatoes were selling for $3-4 a pound. We have a mixture of heirloom and fancy hybrids, so figure $3 a pound. That would be 16.6 pounds of tomatoes or 2.38 pounds per plant. I am hopeful.

Today we plant the peppers. 6 sweet (bell) peppers. This will be our 3rd or 4th try with bell peppers. If they don't pay for themselves this year (both seeds and 1/3rd dirt and container) then we aren't doing them again, either. I hope they do well because yellow and orange peppers are $2 for a single pepper and that's just bloody ridiculous.

The lettuce has gone wild. We have gotten 5 salad servings, which has paid for the seeds. If I get 10 more salads out of it this year, 15 next year and 15 the year after then the lettuce will have paid for itself, the container and the dirt. I figure by that point the container and the dirt will need to be replaced. I hope not, but it is a plastic container. They don't tend to last long.

I planted the basil in cute containers, which is a mistake. I don't want cute basil. I want big basil so we won't starve to death this winter when we run out of pesto. I need more dirt to repot the basil and all the dirt is in the car, 3 flights of stairs and half a block away. So for now the basil will be cute.

Speaking of cute things, I can't stop buying small cute plants in small cute containers. I don't know what's happened to me. Is this a biological clock thing that suddenly I want small cute things?

My scallions sprouted and are now turning yellow. I'm pretty sure that isn't supposed to happen. This is my first time growing scallions, so I'll try again as soon as my new seed order gets here.

My radishes have greens, but no attached radishes. The package says radishes grow in 28 days. It's been 60 days and no sign of anything other than some limp looking leaves. This is the 4th time I have sown radishes and carrots and come away with vegetable tops with no vegetables. They have a week, maybe less, before I lose patience and rip them up.

The herbs don't need to earn their keep monetarily. They just need to make me happy and they always do.

The swiss chard needs to just make me happy to look at, as well, and so far it isn't happening. C'mon swiss chard, I need you to perk up, get big and quit putting up yellow leaves.

The flowers just need to make me happy and they are not, with the exception of some heirloom marigolds. The wallflowers and snapdragons smell wonderful but are all bent over and sad looking. The pansies aren't growing at all. I think I killed the woolflowers but just don't know it yet. The wildflowers haven't bloomed yet, so I can't speak to those. The hanging basket with the cascading pink flowers is making me about $6.50 happy, but not $12.95 happy which is what it cost.

The succulents and cacti are Scott's and they make him happy, so they mostly stay, although I have been making an argument to put a gigantic sad looking kalanchoe out of its misery.