Leaving my plants for 3 months means relying on nature to take care of them as best she can, and when indoors, relying on family. Guess who did a better job? Before I left, my thyme and rosemary were thriving indoors and I had a bumper crop of window basil. I came home to find them all crispy. Somehow, it seems to happen every year, whether my fault or my parents'. So, Friday, I headed to Union Square Green Market and picked up some herbs from the same seller I trust every year. 3 pots for $5, but I guess earlier in the season some types sell for a premium so this thyme was 2 pots for $5. I have lemon thyme to the left and silver thyme to the right. I split a small piece off of both plants in order to keep some inside. I kept the larger portions buried in small containers to make it easier to remove them when it's warm enough to plant out on the roof.
Here from left to right, I have italian oregano, rosemary, and spearmint (3 for $5). I did the same splitting thing to the mint. The oregano and rosemary will have to be propagated by cutting later. Usually, I'm growing basil as well, but I'm all out of seeds. I tried to save seed last year, but it appears that all of those seeds are duds. Maybe indoor basil doesn't pollinate itself very well, even though it loves to send up flowers.
And, finally, I sowed my tomatoes to the left, lettuce bottom right, and spinach top right. When I'm not growing my own salads, I get 1lb containers of baby spinach from whole foods and I realized they might be perfect for starting small seedlings. They seal completely, so I can leave them on the fire escape when they sprout, without fearing that the street exhaust will get all over them, though I'll have to remember to open them every day for some air exchange. I got the container for tomatoes from a package of kiwis my family bought from Costco. Perfectly, it has 6 separate pits for the different plants and plenty of headroom for early growth. I've grown 3 varieties, Black Krim (my favorite from last time), Bloody Butcher (because again I have no Stupice seeds) and Pearly Pink (an intriguing new variety from my tomato seed archive).
When I accumulate more containers, I'll start some arugula. Normally around this time of year, I also start my sugar ann snap peas, but I'm all out of seeds and if I were to wait any longer, they'd be too late. Instead, I do have several new varieties of beets I'll grow this year. More to come on those in a future post =)