Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hardening Off Has Begun

Bucolic Bushwick Hardening Off 2011 Seedlings

I've begun hardening off the larger seedlings. Should I call them seedlings anymore? They're pretty big now, maybe I should start calling them transplants.

They're placed in a sheltered area on the roof where they get a little sun, but mostly shade, and some protection from the wind. The first 2 days I left them out for 2 hours, the next few days for 4, now I just put them out when I get back from work and take them in before I go to sleep. I'll skip a day if it's raining. The next step will be to put them out in the morning and bring them in overnight.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Starting Cucumber and Melon Seeds

Bucolic Bushwick Seed Starting

Just started some Tasty Bites F1 cantaloupe seeds and Lemon cucumber seeds. Both melon and cucumber seeds will grow very quickly once they sprout so it's okay to start them close to the target planting date (mid May for me). It's also best to get them outside soon after sprouting. I learned cantaloupe vine can be easily damaged during transport. Last year I started the seeds too early and had to transplant a long, flimsy vine onto the windy roof. I ended up splitting open the vine during that transplant.The plant survived, but it had to take time to recover.

Melon and cucumber seeds can also be directly sown outside, but I prefer to start them indoors in more favorable conditions. I don't want to take the chance some extreme weather event will knock out all my chances for homegrown goodness. Store bought cantaloupe really cannot compare.

Subscribe and learn more about growing food:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Reading Round Up: Food Rave Edition

Bucolic Bushwick Rooftop Pest

A new material made up of forest byproducts and crustaceans shells can remove radioactive contaminants from drinking water.

Vegan magazine uses stock photos with meat, the Internet responds. The comment thread is all over the place.

Freeze-dried food and the new frugal frontier.

Compost company turns food waste into profit.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Sungold Cherry Tomato Seedling Giveaway

I have 6 to giveaway. Email me at thegardener at bucolicbushwick dot com if you'd like one. They can be picked up at my office building in Manhattan, near the Union Square subway station. The building is open until 11pm M-F so you can pick it up any time you want.

If you can't participate in this giveaway don't worry, I'll be giving away my remaining seeds later this year.

Update: All gone. Happy growing everyone!

Subscribe and learn more about growing food:

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Seedling Update: Grow Light Makes a Huge Difference

I'm really happy I bought the grow light. It's made an incredible difference in seedling quality. Last year's seedlings were thin and leggy, this year's seedlings are much stouter and bushier. The difference is very clear in the pictures below.

Bucolic Bushwick 2010 Seedlings

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Reading Round Up: Bacon Perfume Edition

Bucolic Bushwick 2011 Seedlings

Eat weeds.

Food addiction and drug addiction are similar in the brain.

Margarine used to be pink.

Read about The Plant, a multi-level aquaponic farm in Chicago.

Corporate backed employee gardens are on the rise.

7 carnivorous wonders of the plant world.

Bioplastic from chicken feathers.

Friday, April 8, 2011

DIY Self Watering Planter: How to Convert a Standard Planter

Welcome to Bucolic Bushwick. Here you'll find advice on rooftop vegetable gardening, as well as several plans for DIY self watering planters. Please share this page with others and help spread the vegetable gardening movement.

If you're interested in gardening with self watering containers, but still want to make use of your existing standard planters, here's a great way to convert all your planters into self watering containers. This project would also be good for gardeners interested in growing in self watering containers, but want something more visually attractive than storage totes.

To convert a standard planter into a self watering container you'll need a watertight container with a lid, this will act as the water reservoir, a tall water bottle, this will act as the fill tube, and 2 strips of fabric, these strips will draw water from the reservoir to the soil above.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Potting Up Seedlings

Bucolic Bushwick 2011 Seedlings

Now that most of the seedlings are 2 or 3 inches tall and have a few sets of leaves it's time to pot them up. Potting up is simply the process of planting seedlings in a larger container so that their roots have more room to grow.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Reading Round Up: Lazivores Edition

Bucolic Bushwick 2011 Seedlings

New chemical "bitter blocker" makes foods taste sweeter.

Waiters and table service in Times Square?

$5000 photo urbanism fellowship: “Urban Agriculture in New York City.”

The omnivore’s other dilemma: expanding access to non-industrial food.

Biotech alfalfa puts spotlight on coexistence.

Sweet! Candy eaters surprisingly slimmer.