Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Peppers Look Good!

It has been almost exactly one year since I got the idea to grow a BathroomFarm. I am truly proud of myself for making as much of this happen as I have so far. After all, there is no perfect instruction book for growing a vertical vegetable garden in one's bathroom. I am also feeling serious disappointment for the lack of productivity of the project.

I am doing the only thing I know how to do when there is an obstacle and that is to go right through it. I spent the better part of this afternoon planting new crops. I started a LOT of seeds this time because I have been optimistic in my expectation that every seed is going to grow which is not the case. Being too conservative has definitely hurt productivity. The big change this time was to make a fluffier soil by adding peat moss and perlite to the potting mix. I have noticed that the potting soil I have been using turns into "concrete" and the plants begin to wither and die. The ones that do survive look good, though, but seem to develop slowly. I am not disappointed at all in this chili pepper plant. I also have to take into consideration that some plants do develop slowly especially when grown in containers.

Another big problem that I personally have is the tendency to compare my progress with the timetable of the out-in-the-yard farmers. No matter how hard I try, it's hard to ignore the natural cycle of the seasons even though they don't apply to BathroomFarming. One thing I'm planning for the New Year is to devise a moon-based calendar for my particular activities to focus more on what is actually happening than be constantly distracted by what I think should be happening. The tendency to compare is a bad habit and reframing time will help.

Because winter is coming, I decided to postpone hanging more plants on the wall and started seeds in pots instead. I did plan on cold weather issues and the surface of the garden wall was built with a dead air space behind it to insulate the plants from the exterior wall behind them. I'm just not certain how well this design will work yet. There is a major positive side to winter in the BathroomFarm. As the trees in the south yard outside the windows are losing leaves, a tremendous amount of sunlight is flooding into the room! And, there are no bugs! There were a few issues with insects coming into the room during the summer.

I made a few mistakes simply from inexperience and misunderstood what I should be pinching off the tomato plants. There is a good chance thatI may have been pinching back shoots that should have bloomed. I just won't do that again! I started several varieties of tomatoes and two of the vines already growing are more than four feet long and appear healthy. The green pepper plants appear healthy, too. I am optimistic that I will eventually fail forward to bountiful harvest success!

And, did I mention that the peppers look good?


  1. Have to agree with you on the soil mixture the more air the better. Keep up Ur good work and yes the peppers look good.

  2. I think this change in the soil will be extremely beneficial. Although the peat moss and perlite were not available within walking distance from home, I did find them at which has everything. And because my goal is to keep this project VERY low cost, I'm happy to say I acquired the products free. I found a way to earn Amazon gift certificates answering surveys online. It would be 100% possible for someone to earn enough to buy most of the materials to make a simple garden that way! Plus, the stuff shows up at your door! Persons needing year 'round fresh foods the most in America are low income urban dwellers and I'm trying to design this project with them in mind first. The challenges I'm working through will just make this project much easier to replicate so I am very grateful for them.

  3. You're following my love for the unconventional. Love that you're multi using your bathroom for growing veggies. Back in WI, we turned one of our closets into a grow space for our succulents, and had a ton of fun doing it. Matti

  4. Hi, Matti! I have a closet farmer friend on twitter who is also a fan of the BathroomFarm! Living sustainably means better managing personal resources including space. My bathroom is giant and I've been using part of the space as an office! It's really pleasant to have the plants growing in here. I'm looking forward to having many more growing at once but this has been more ambitious than I had anticipated. I am certain my garden has an abundant future! Laura