Maybe not quite a bounty, but exciting nonetheless. Harvesting tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants, beets, ground cherries, bok coy, kale, and swiss chard. The first few cucumbers and eggplants were quite bitter, but the latest round was great. I suspect a squash beetle or something similar killed the zucchini plant. This weekend, I planted more greens as well Brussels sprouts, more beets, and garbanzo beans.
One of the pepper plants (lower right on the left photo) is lagging behind. Charentais melon (right) is fruiting.
Heirloom tomatoes and cucumber line the railing.
Saturday was like Christmas morning. I woke much earlier than normal, trying not to stir my husband. Sipped coffee. Inspected the stacks of planters outside the window. Paced a little. Caught up on the pile of New York Times. Back to the planters. Finally, the sun seeped through the seams of highrises across Broadway.
Let the planting begin.
In some ways, the dream of a city garden began late last summer. In one of those “right place at the right time” scenarios, Ryan and I scored an affordable apartment in the Hudson Heights neighborhood of Manhattan with a sizable terrace.
After months of reading countless library books, blogs, and articles, I came up with a plan to suit the space. The heirloom seeds came in January and I started some indoor seedlings, like the fennel and leeks pictured above. Over the last couple weeks, I’ve spent the early mornings bringing trays of seedlings outside to grow accustomed to the wind and temperature, and police sirens.
Ryan selected an assortment of 12-inch pots and box planters that we filled part-way with gravel. The soil is 1/3 organic compost, 1/3 peat moss, and 1/3 organic perlite. I hauled 80 pounds of compost on the subway from Union Square Greenmarket. Never again.
My dad helped me design three self-supporting ladder shelves to give the garden some height. Trellises are wired to each planter to protect them from wind gusts. In a week or so, tomatoes and peppers will line the 14-inch pots along the railing.
In the ground:
Early purple sprouting broccoli
Eggplant (probably too soon)
Cosmic purple carrot
Tall telephone peas
Morning glory and moonflower
Herbs, tomatoes, peppers, squash and more to come. If the suspense is killing you, click here to get updates via email.