Thursday, July 12, 2007

Demented Watermelons, Fish Fertilizer, Window Herbs

So, early on in the watermelon growing process my 2nd largest melon was touching the surface of the roof on a hot day and got a little dry/burnt. I figured I would let it keep growing to see if it would fix itself or somehow or other survive. No such luck! It and any other melons that were scalded by the roof have become demented or aborted themselves. The big one even split open a crack at the scald point. The melons that grew early off the vine so that they were hanging in the air during early growth are the ones that survived (2 looking nicely these days). I decided to take off any messed up ones remaining on the vine, so I got a chance to see what pre-ripe watermelons look like inside. They still smelled pretty watermelony, but I bet they wouldn't have tasted very good:
Also, last week I decided that maybe I should start fertilizing some of my vegetables. I hadn't fertilized anything yet, and things seem to do pretty well without it. But, I didn't want them to run out of nutrients all of a sudden and die. I have some Miracle Grow but have decided maybe I'll leave that for my non-edibles. So, the best organic fertilizers I've read about are Fish Emulsion and Kelp Meals. There were several recommendations for the Neptune's Harvest products but they're not cheap and I wanted to see the product, maybe shake a bottle, before buying. So, I went to Saifee Hardware in the East Village where they have a truly amazing array of gardening products for such a non-descript store. They might not have as many live plants as they do at Plantworks, but they have a GIANT variety of fertilizers, soils, containers, hoses, etc. Neptune's Harvest is not an easy product to find in stores, but they had it. So, I brought some home and put it on my tomatoes and watermelons. I'll let you know how it goes. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to tell... perhaps that's an experiment to run next year.

On the herbal front, my rosemary and orange mint from my previous purchase are doing well, but the English thyme died from being burnt to a crisp in it's little pot.... Doh. So, I bought some more English Thyme along with some baby and 1yr chives at the Union Square Greenmarket on Friday. I planted the Thyme and 1yr chives on the roof with my lilies and went on to make an indoor herb window box. Here is baby chives, basil I grew from seed, and orange mint from left to right.
I found early on that orange mint prefers being indoors to being in full sun. It burns easily but also comes back quickly. I have basil growing on the roof too, in a tomato bucket. It grows a bit better on the roof, but I figure I should keep some inside if I can. Here, I cut 1 tall basil plant into 3 pieces and stuck the extra 2 into the dirt. I hope they root and grow. I've read that chives are hardy and will come back next year on the roof, but they can also be kept indoors at a sunny window. My window has a south-east exposure. I hope it's sunny enough!