Saturday, May 3, 2014


That's Self-Watering Containers.  The most well known SWC that you can buy is the Earthbox.  My opinions of SWC's are mixed.  They work well for some plants, others I'd just as soon put in the earth.  Last year I built two of them from Rubbermaid containers and planted them both with a small okra (Millionaire).  The okra grew and produced well for a while but later in the summer the leaves began to fall off until nothing but a bare stem was left.

There is one crop that seems to do very well in a SWC - lettuce.  For the last two years I've put my one Earthbox in the mobile coldframe and planted it with lettuce.  This grows large and clean bunches of lettuce.  This is what the Earthbox looked like a month ago.
I got 2.2 pounds of lettuce from the first planting.  Not bad.  New lettuce seedlings were set in for another harvest.  As this lettuce comes out I'll replace it with florence fennel, a new plant for me.

Meanwhile the seedlings in the coldframe are biding their time.  The Marconi and Serrano pepper seedlings are getting quite large.  The forecast calls for a warmer temperatures starting early next week, high time to set out the peppers and tomatoes. 

There's more lettuce and spinach in the green's bed.  The most recent planting of spinach is Tyee, which is supposed to be very bolt resistant in warm weather.  We'll see.
And the cole crops are coming along nicely now (The white stuff is shredded paper mulch).  The garlic and onions in the background are also doing well.

So it looks like spring actually is here.  I'm declaring winter officially over.   This is a hosta unfurling and a helleboros sending up shoots.

Andl this is a Britt Marie Crawford ligularia.  Planted it three years ago and this is the first year it has looked this good.  Absolutely beautiful plant with leaves purple underneath, small yellow flowers.

1 comment:

Mark Willis said...

Mike, your veg patch is looking really neat and orderly now! I use SWCs for some of my tomatoes, but I top them up with water very frequently. They can probably only manage without for about 2 days in Summertime.

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