Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Lay of the "Land" in the BathroomFarm

Because most seedlings rebounded nicely with light therapy, I decided to plant the first of my crops in the BathroomFarm and move forward with the sowing of the next seeds. This is just the beginning. Unlike many of my projects, that have a beginning and end, this will be perpetually in a state of evolution. In keeping the project very simple and low cost, I used common materials. The proceeds from my Quality Junk sale financed the purchase of potting soil from my neighborhood dollar store. I collected some sticks on the way home to use as plant supports.

The first containers I used to plant my BathroomFarm were containers I already had and some I made by upcycling food containers. It doesn't matter how pretty the wall looks in the beginning because as I add more
plants and everything grows, The foliage will obscure the containers. It was more important to start the project with what's on hand than to agonize over aesthetics at first. The biggest goal is to make a productive garden at the least expense.

The garden grows up along the whole wall using as much space as possible. I set two pots of cucumbers on top of my "garden shed" made from second hand shelves covered with upcycled bedsheet. I put sticks in the pots to keep the vines under control until they reach the wall and can grow up the twine I laced around nails. Upcycled milk cartons have tomatoes planted in them. There are peppers growing upside down and green onions and green beans planted in the tops of the large beverage containers on the lower left of the wall. A tomato plant that was planted upside down did die but I had suspected that I damaged it during transplanting. I certain of it now.

I have a lage pot on the floor on the left of the BathroomFarm. I upcycled a display easel by lacing twine around its legs to make a right angle trellis
for the Minnesota Midget Melons planted in it. I also planted green peppers, tomatoes, and heirloom lettuces in this pot. Because it's a very large container, I embedded a quart size bottle with the bottom cut out during planting. When I water this container, I fill the bottle to channel water into the lower part of the pot efficiently.

There are two other areas I am making use of for the BathroomFarm. I replaced the ceiling light bulb with a grow light and hung two baskets planted with spinach and Swiss chard leafy greens and suspended them next to the light fixture. There is a fan wired into the circuit which is on when the ceiling light is on so it gives a little extra ventilation in the Bathroomfarm which is good. I am also using the window ledge next to my desk as a seed starting area. I left the grow light in the clamp lamp that I suspended there for reviving my seedlings when I first started moving in. The next crops I planted are terra cotta pots with oregano, chives, parsley and cilantro. I also started yogurt cups with collards, zucchini and chilis!

So far the only problem encountered is that the lights are interfering with our cordless Internet phone! If I don't answer it right away, it's because I'm turning off the grow lights and lying to my crops about having a solar eclipse!

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