Saturday, May 14, 2011

My poor, poor little tomatoes

I thought it was about time for a garden update. I'm moving in a few weeks, and my new apartment doesn't have a porch like this one, so my garden will have to be much smaller and much more indoors. However, I really can't live without tomatoes, so I planted some cherry tomatoes and roma tomatoes to grow in pots on the fire escape of my new apartment. I had posted a few pictures of these tomatoes when they were babies, but then they got really big really fast! Like a good four inches tall with lots of leaves. Sadly, I don't have any pictures of this stage in their lives... They were on my windowsill when one day, it got really windy! 

My poor tomatoes got blown around quite a bit, and they never recovered:
One lone tomato remains
(I had just thinned out this pot, too,
since there were like eight)
My cinnamon basil seedlings survived the storm, though (they were on a table next to the window, not on the windowsill):

They're even bigger now (I took this picture a week ago)
I decided to plant some more tomato seeds. They haven't grown yet, but hopefully they will soon. It's still pretty cold here, but it's pushing it for seed starting time. I guess I could go buy some plants at the store, but I was so proud of my seed starting early this year....

In addition to planting the tomato seeds, I also dug up my basil pot and repotted the plants, shaking out the roots of each plant and burying the dead parts deeper under the soil. I also added some of my cinnamon basil seedlings to one side of this pot to replace my dead purple basil.
I dug up all the basil--I should have done this outside,
but the thought didn't even cross my mind since it has
been so cold. It was actually nice when I did this, though.
Repotted basil!

Genovese basil up top, sweet basil below, and
oregano (ok, I know that's not basil) on the side

Two cinnamon basil babies adapting to their new home

Thai basil that I got from a Pho restaurant--I sutck it in water,
it grew roots, and now it's going on its second summer!

Of all my pepper plants, only one survived the winter. My chili de arbol pepper is going on its third summer! My little avocado tree that I grew from an avocado pit is also doing well, though it will never produce fruit in this climate--it's just a house plant for me. Only one of my mint plants survived, but I think it's the one my neighbor gave me shortly before he died, so I'm happy to keep his memory living in my plants. The chives he gave me are also going strong, but I didn't take a picture of those individually--you can see them in the mint picture.

Three years old!

I can't believe this grew from a pit!

The little mint that survived--you can see
the chives next to it, too
Please send all your good green thumb vibes to my new tomato seeds--I hope they fare better than their unlucky potmates.


  1. I love the pot that you have the different types of basil growing in. Does cinnamon basil really taste like cinnamon? I just started growing cherry tomatoes and there are like 6 of them in one small pot - I know that I shoudl move them but how big of a pot do you think they need? Also, do you think herbs survive better inside or out? Right now I have basil, chives, parsley and cilantro and they all seem to be doing well on my window sill that gets a lot of light.

  2. The cinnamon basil smells like cinnamon. It's not big enough to taste yet, so I'm not sure.

    I would separate the cherry tomatoes into separate small pots to start. When you transplant tomatoes, you want to plant as much of the plant under the dirt as possible, like 70% of the plant--since this scares me, I would bury about half of it under the dirt in a small pot, let it grow again, and then move it to a bigger pot. You can see which plants do the best and then only plant two of them into bigger pots--probably at least a gallon-sized pot for each plant? I'm no expert, but I think that sounds about right. Mine last year might have been a little bigger than that.

    Most plants benefit from a little breeze, but a sunny window works just fine too. Some herbs will do fine in any window; basil doesn't like north-facing windows because they need lots of sun (which might be a problem in my new apartment :( ). Chives often don't grow well from a seed (or so I've heard), but chives and parsley both can handle a window that doesn't get too too much sun. Cilantro needs a lot of sun but not a lot of heat, so a sunny window might actually be best. Cilantro bolts if it's too hot (shoots up really fast to make seeds), so it's a spring/fall herb. You can collect those seeds to grow more cilantro, though, or use them themselves (the seeds are called coriander).