And you may ask yourself, “Well, how did I get here?”

August 1, 2012
Garden Left Side

Italian stone pine, hydroponic bed, and boysenberries

Other half of garden

Boysenberries, baby kumquat tree, miniature rose, live oak (doing well), black oak (doing poorly) and Aleppo pine

This is my current garden, such as it is. Kind of a far cry from the old house, but you make do with what you have. And I’m not allowed to get any more plants just now, or I won’t be able to get into/out of the storage closet and the hot water heater closet. ^_^; The perils of trying to garden in an apartment!

We’re still waiting on the new house, though our agent tells us we should hear something by the end of the week. I’m trying very hard to be patient. Been getting lots of practice with that lately. So in order to distract myself, let me tell you about the wee hydroponic bed.

My dad, my husband, and I all went to the AgPals demonstration last weekend at the San Diego Botanic Garden. We got to make the spiffy tub you see pictured above, which is put together out of really basic household materials, filled with planting medium, and then planted. Check out the interior:

Hydroponic tub under construction

An 18-gallon tub, a third of a Home Depot bucket, three heavily pierced Gatorade bottles, a wide length of PVC, an old groundcover container, and some zip ties make the beginnings of a basic hydroponic tub.

What you don’t see in this picture: the groundcloth that’s placed over the groundcover tray to keep the medium from falling through, the planting medium, and the plants, of course. You slit the groundcloth to fit over the pipe and the bottles, press it on securely, then fill it up with planting medium, making sure to jam the medium into the bottles tightly so that they will wick up the water. Make sure the planting medium is well dampened, plant your plants, then fill up the reservoir with water and a bit of the right kind of fertilizer, using the PVC tube, and you end up with this:

Hydroponic bed

From top left, clockwise: Hungarian Wax pepper, green onions, basil (it’ll have to be thinned), Early Girl tomato, more onions, strawberry, and lettuce in the center.

We capped off the fill tube with a ceramic drip tray to prevent the mosquitos from getting in. The tub took about five and a half gallons to fill, and I’ve topped it off with a quart of water so far. We’ve had it since Saturday, and it hasn’t needed more water since — it’s stayed beautifully damp and just barely draining the reservoir. I’m sure that’ll change once the tomato and pepper really start going, but to be honest, I’m both shocked and pleasantly amazed at how little water it seems to want. I may try to do a lot more of this; water is the biggest cost for a garden here in SoCal.

It’s so nice to have a veggie garden again, even just this little scrap of one. If I were going to be staying in an apartment for a long time, I’d be seriously considering about four or five of these, instead of the trees that I’m hanging on to, to bring to the new house. You can grow a lot in these little beds! Ag Pals had several examples of these at the San Diego County Fair that were full-up and producing like crazy.

More pix of the garden below. (:

Garden Pictures

It’s a pretty little space.

Miniature roses

Miniature roses, from my niece’s baby shower — both she and the roses are two years old now!

 

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