Things are going well with my green babies. Except for the fact I don’t seem to be able to grow herbs, everything is coming along, some growing faster than others, but all progressing.

My zukes are really coming along, and so is my chard.

My little yellow summer squash is growing up, sporting a true leaf now that it’s been put into a bigger pot. I’m sure it’ll really start taking off once it gets hotter and the little jiffy pot I planted it in begins to disintegrate.

My sunchokes are growing like crazy. Ideally, they’ll each fill the pot with tubers so I’ll have a good supply once the season’s over, plus “seeds” for next year. Waiting on my horseradish to emerge stil.

My peppers also finally sprouted. I’d all but lost hope after my dill shriveled likely due to the cooler nights we’ve been getting the last week or too, but I’ve finally found little shoots poking up in their pots, so that’s fantastic. Really looking forward to at least one harvest of shishito this year. The other balcony with my partial-shade and cooler temp loving radishes and brassicas are also doing well. No sign of taproots yet, but I have hope.

I’ve also been knitting.

My plants are doing well, overall.

My catnip sprouted, finally, but then shriveled and died. I think it damped off, which is unfortunate, but I planted some more in a larger container for better drainage and dusted the soil with ground cinnamon to discourage fungus. The yellow straight-neck finally emerged as well, which I’m very pleased about. Still no sign of the peppers or dill, though my sunchokes and Kyoto Kujo Negi scallions are popping up now.

I’ve pulled 3 of the 5 zucchini sprouts I had, because there would be too much competition in the container for all of them to thrive. When I pulled the third sprout, I noticed it and one of the others had silver streaking on the leaves and I’ve sprayed the remaining two plants with a milk solution in case it’s powdery mildew.

I also ordered a bottle of neem oil to try and prevent outbreaks and discourage insect pests. We’ll see how it goes. I’ll be really bummed out if I lose my zukes after they’ve been growing so vigorously. I asked on a gardening site if it looked like PM and someone responded that it looked like a nutritional deficiency, so I’ve done another round of foliar fertilizing with my Neptune’s Harvest stuff and I’m hoping that’ll help.

In the last week, things have really begun taking off; my zucchini is doing very well, many of the sprouts have begun growing second and even third true leaves.

My shiso (perilla) and chrysanthemums have finally sprouted and my chard is coming along. My kale and cherry belle/champion radishes stalled out and I decided to scrap them since, as it’s climbing into the high 70s and 80s now (we basically jumped from winter to summer here), it doesn’t seem like they’re going to thrive. I’ll try again toward fall and hope they’ll work out in more appropriate conditions.

I planted my shishito peppers, yellow straightneck summer squash and dill today. Now that it’s warming up, I’m looking forward to going whole-hog on summer crops and hope they work out better than my first run did. Oh well, it’s a learning experience, after all.

This is what one of the two balconies my condo has looks like currently. There are more pots on the other balcony, but they’re waiting for seedlings to be big enough to be transplanted. This is also the balcony that gets the most sunlight through the day.

…and where I raise seedlings until conditions are right to move them (don’t mind the condition around the floor, we’re working on getting someone in to fix some damage left over from the previous owners).

 

So far, we’ve got several varieties of seedlings growing:

Kale

Radish (regular and Korean Tae Bok)

Wasabi microgreens

Mustard

Swiss Chard (rainbow)

Cilantro

and, as of this morning… ZUCCHINI!

Zucchini babies

Baby zuke

 

This is a pleasant surprise, as I thought for sure my zucchini didn’t germinate until we lifted the sprouting tray up and saw fat, hairy little roots poking out of the drainage hole of a few cells.

 

Encouraged by the progress of my scallion regrowth experiment, I got myself containers, potting soil and a variety of seeds —  a few from the local nursery and Lowe’s and some from Kitazawa Seed Co., based out of my native SF Bay Area and which specializes in Japanese and Asian heirloom vegetable seeds.

Lacking proper sprouting containers, I used a plastic clamshell package from some apples I got at Costco to serve as a tiny seed bed. It actually worked quite well. To start, I planted kale, swiss chard, radish and cilantro, saving the heirloom seeds for when I got proper cultivation trays. The radishes wasted no time germinating, with the kale following closely behind.

 

The chard took a little longer to get going and the cilantro actually got me worried because it didn’t show any signs of life for at all.

Now that I have two balconies and a south-facing room that gets plenty of sun, I’m finally realizing my little veggie garden dream I’ve wanted to try for years. First, I decided to regrow some scallions from the root ends after we had bokkeum to test the prospects before investing in potting soil, containers and seeds. Here’s the result of 24 hours in plain tap water:

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Lookin’ pretty good!

Whipped up (or whipped out, as it were) a quick knitted thing (using the Big Dick Dishcloth pattern) for a secret santa snack exchange happening in my guild for the holidays. Since, despite living in this region for over a decade, I’m having a hard time coming up with more than a couple of truly local delicacies to send, I figured a handmade thing might help round things out.