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Cleaning

May 27, 2011

We’ve been doing some spring cleaning, and today I took on the dirt that was beginning to accumulate on the balcony. When the plants drain, dirt escapes out the holes in the bottom of the containers. With so much rain last week, there was a lot of draining happening. I’ve read that putting a layer of pebbles under the dirt can help prevent the dirt from escaping, but I haven’t tried it yet. One reason to clean was to make the balcony look nice for holiday weekend guests; the other was the return of the spider mites. I didn’t see many on the plants, but there were many crawling around in the dirt on the balcony and on the outside of some containers. I’m hoping the eliminating some dirt will make our balcony a less dusty, dry, spider mite-friendly environment.

Tiny spider mite under the leaf.

Clean Balcony.

We also had some plants that were done and ready to pull. We had kept a couple of spinach plants that were still producing, but by this week they were not looking anything like spinach. They went from producing flat, broad, dark green leaves to producing small, spiky, lighter colored leaves. We pulled the remaining spinach along with some of the bok choi plants and some lettuce plants.

There were also a few things ready for harvest. We pulled out the rest of the radishes, cut some more mesclun mix, and took all the bok choi we could get before they all bolt. Tonight we tried making the radishes and their greens. It was interesting. A bit more bitter than we’d prefer. But it was a worthwhile experiment. We’re hoping that the mesclun and the bok choi will hold in the fridge for a few days.

Radish collection.

Our first strawberry ripened today, and we managed to beat the birds, bees, and other bugs to it. We found a smaller one as well hidden under some leaves.

Strawberries.

We’ll have to decide what to put in the now empty containers. It’s getting a bit tricky with the hot weather. A lot of the seeds we have prefer the cool weather of spring and fall.

Ready for more.

Coming soon: sprouts! We just received the future sprouts in the mail yesterday- alfalfa seeds, mung beans, and a rainbow bean mix.

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