Posts Tagged blueberry

There Once Was A Cucumber That Fell In Love With A Grape

cucumber and grapevine

There Once Was A Cucumber
That Fell In Love With A Grape

None of the other EarthBox plants could blame it. The grape was a pink seedless RELIABLE grape from Gurney’s. And, man, was it reliable! So reliable, in fact, it nearly quadrupled in size in just a few weeks. Yes, that fast!

How do I know it’s LOVE?

Well, cucumber has wrapped its dainty (but powerful) spiraling tendrils around grape’s straight, purposeful shoots; and grape has leaned its lovely, delicate vine toward cucumber, exposing its new growth in adulation.

cucumber tendrils and grapevine

Cucumber And Grape In The Garden Of Love

I’m praying this is the compatible, nurturing kind of love; not the sick, choking, sleeping-with-the-enemy kind. But, if you know me by now, you know I usually err on the sunny side; and like every other potential obstacle in this experiment in EarthBox container gardening that I believed would result in something positive, I believe this union will result in the healthy and mutually beneficial relationship between two different types of plants known as companion gardening —  I believe they will help each other grow. And, that’s a very cool and beautiful thing.

The grape planted with the stevia (formerly known as “The Stick”) is not doing nearly as well, but it’s thriving nonetheless and I have no concern for it doing otherwise. In fact, all of the plants are thriving, almost as if they’re happy for cucumber and grape (there is no room for jealousy in this garden); and they’re turning their eager faces to the sun and reaching a bit higher for the sky every day.

new additions to the earthbox container garden

EarthBox Container Garden Plants
“Grow, Grow, Growing!”

You may be asking yourself how cucumber and grape came to arrive at “first base” in the first place as I had not planted cucumbers initially. And, you also may notice some additional plants in the picture above as well. That’s because there are.

On Mother’s Day weekend, Christine, the boys, and I left our apartment (still undergoing a facelift), and hit the road up to the home of my parental units in Tennessee. Their home is just over the Tennessee/Alabama State line, not far from the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. (If you’ve never been there, it’s definitely worth the trip!)

brown trim paint

“The Crib” A La New Color Scheme

It was an easy and uneventful ride up and a lovely visit overall. We went to church on Mother’s Day and afterward Mum took me to Plant City in Fayetteville, Tennessee (pronounced Plant See-dee in Fayetteville, Tennessee) to get me something for Mother’s Day. An avid gardener herself, she supports Heather’s Homegrown despite her skepticism over the grapes.

I told her I wanted a strawberry pot for Mother’s Day because I read that consuming strawberries is beneficial for reducing stress and therefore stress-induced inflammation, which I have a tendency to suffer from particularly during stressful times when they happen on this third rock from the sun. Plus, my youngest can eat his weight in strawberries.

Additionally, I got a basil plant and a rhubarb plant — and from the 50% off “dead pile” no less.

I’ve been entertaining the notion of making a strawberry-rhubarb pie for my Dad because he is forever pleading fervently, “Please! I just want one fruit pie like Mum [his Mum] used to make. Can’t I just have one fruit pie?”

rhubarb growing in an earthbox container garden

Rhubarb (Planted With Tomatoes):
Just For You, Dad

I got the basil because I like to eat it in salads and make pesto with it. Plus, basil possesses anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and antibacterial properties so it offers many health benefits.

basil growing in an earthbox container garden

Basil Springing Back To Life In An EarthBox

That’s when I saw the cucumber plants for a whopping $1.50 each.

I explained to Mum that I had been reading that cucumbers, which we used to grow on the ground in Connecticut, actually prefer growing up trellises. If you think about it, with all over sunlight exposure the hanging cucumber doesn’t end up with one side of it underdeveloped and yellow (or even rotten) from laying directly on the ground.

I explained companion gardening and told her I had read that cucumbers like growing up cornstalks. Not having planted corn, I told her “just for kicks,” I was going to plant them with the grapes and simply… see what happens.

Being a ‘Go for it!’ kind of gal, Mum advised accordingly. Either that, or she truly has no hope for the grapes!

So, that’s how we got where we are today — with love blooming on the balcony. I pray cucumber and grape remain a happy, healthy couple of companions, and not so much like this couple on the Mother’s Day edition of Saturday Night Live featuring Will Ferrell.

Hopefully, this couple will be in a healthier place soon.

Enjoy!

To Mother Earth,

Heather's Homegrown Signature

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OMG (Oh, My Grape)! Me Thinks There Is Life In There

Well, my bébés survived the cold. Thank you, Mother Earth.

I don’t think it ever got below 43 degrees, and it was back in the 70s the next day and sunny. I received  confirmation that Gurney’s shipped the replacement for “The Stick,” and  Murphy’s Law: The day after that, what to my wondering eyes should appear? Buds. At least, I think they’re buds. It may just be wishful thinking on my part.

The stevia plant is definitely a goner.

early plantings

Can It Be? Is "The Stick" (gulp) Budding?!

I guess only time will tell.  In the meantime, you tell me. Feel free to leave me a comment. Does this look life-bearing to you? Here’s a close-up:

grape buds

LIFE?!

Perhaps planting it almost directly in the fertilizer didn’t burn it’s roots? Perhaps it is viable after all?! Gurney’s, I apologize; I’m pretty sure I owe you one.

In the meantime, I’m going to go check out the definition of self-pollination.  I know what pollination is, of course, and cross-pollination, but not self-pollination. I didn’t even know there was such a thing. Sounds kinda kinky!  😉

To Mother Earth,

Heather's Homegrown Signature

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Ahhh, The Fecundity

EarthBox Container Garden

Assembled EarthBoxes Sans Mulch Covers

At 9pm on a Friday night when many single ladies are out partying, I’m home planting. Why? Not because I’m unpopular (at least I don’t think I am), but because I’ve decided to undertake an endeavor in container gardening – specifically an experiment in “EarthBoxing”.

Why? Because I like to cook and eat healthy food, and buying organic is expensive. Plus, I like to watch things grow, become established, and produce. For me, it’s meditative, rewarding, and a constant reminder of the delicate state that exists between life and death. And too, ever since I was a little girl, I’ve enjoyed digging in the dirt.

The fact is I come from a long line of green-thumbed people. My mother (henceforth referred to as Mum) is from England, where she grew up on a bucolic sheep farm estate . (The sheep were raised for their wool, not flesh.) Mum’s old photographs contain scenes of lavish gardens and peaceful conservatories overflowing with flowers. Although she lives with my Dad in TN now, she still maintains a prolific English garden almost year round.

My father always planted a large garden at the home where I grew up in CT, as well as, many varieties of fruit trees. In fact, one of my fondest memories of childhood was mowing the lawn with my Dad’s Cub Cadet riding mower. (Okay, so maybe I was a little unpopular as a child.) Every time I drove past the peach trees, heavy laden with fruit, I grabbed a peach and gobbled it up before the next lap was over. Thankfully, garden fresh fruits and vegetables were the mainstay of our diets up North in the Summer months.

So, what do I hope to accomplish with this experiment? This endeavor in “EarthBoxing”? I hope to grow things, of course. And, according to the folks at EarthBox, I’ll be able to “G-R-O-W…Grow, Grow, Grow!” They go on to say, “That’s exactly what your plants will do in an EarthBox®! Poor soil conditions and small backyards are no match for the EarthBox®. Now it’s easy to garden anywhere–even on balconies, porches, and rooftops! Anyone can enjoy delicious homegrown veggies, fruits, and herbs grown in an EarthBox®. A sustainable product that uses less water and fertilizer, the EarthBox® will grow bigger and tastier plants faster than a conventional garden–with virtually no effort and zero guesswork! Great results, no matter what color your thumb is.”

Since I live in an apartment, the EarthBox container gardening method seemed the most viable. So, I bought four of them. I did some research as to what grows where I live at this time of year (Birmingham, AL or zone 7) and decided to order two pink seedless grapevines, a dwarf tophat blueberry bush, a few jalapeno plants, a couple of roma tomato plants, and one last type of plant, the identity of which I will disclose in a future post.

I read about the various types of recommended growing media and decided to go with the most readily available. After all, a working single Mom of two active boys doesn’t have time to be running all over town looking for growing media. I ended up purchasing Miracle Gro Organic at my local Target store.

Gurney’s only ships the plants that are ready to be shipped, and I’ve only received the pink seedless grapevines to date. Because they are considered a “tree” (more like a stick) I had to soak the roots for a couple of hours before planting. I filled two EarthBoxes with growing media, as well as, the 7-7-7 fertilizer that came with the EarthBox watering system.

This is where I need your help.

Does anyone even know if I can grow a grapevine in an EarthBox?

A good friend of mine, Dewey, who’s an avid gardener, says no. Gurney’s description doesn’t say either way.  As is my normal way of approaching life, I decided to go for it. One reason is I like to live on the edge. Another is I want to make my own wine. Ultimately, failure is not an option.

If you know the answer to this question, please do leave a comment. And, I thank you in advance.

I hope you’ll come back to read more as I pursue this endeavor in “EarthBoxing”. You’ll at least have to stay tuned to find out what the mystery plant is. I think you’ll be very surprised.

And, no… It’s nothing illegal.

To Mother Earth,

 

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