Saturday, June 10, 2006

Herbal Update #4

Remember my little Easter Herbs, who hatched from pretty, naturally-dyed eggs with all the promise of a fragrant, verdant summer on the fire escape? Well, some of you have been requesting updates since the last one, which came at about the two-week mark for most of the little guys.

We've had a week and a half of chilly rains, which slowed everybody's growth but kept them happily well-watered. Today, our first sunny day (but it's still cool!), they're having a good yawn and stretch up toward the sun.

Featured at top are my little cucumbers. I transplanted them into a pot that at the time seemed infinitely spacious for the little shoots, but now I'm regretting not giving them even more room. They seem content enough to flower, but we're having a problem: I don't think it's pollinating. After blooms drop off, there's no evidence of little cucumbers. Thinking there may not be enough insect life to sustain a New York City fire escape garden, I did some research about hand-pollinating cucumbers, but a problem arose: my plant does not appear to have any "female" blooms. This could be for one of two reasons: a) it's a cucumber plant engineered to self-pollinate within one bloom, so all of the blooms would be identical (this is a frequent occurrence, and the seed packet didn't specify the kind of cucumber it was); or b) the pot is stunting the plant's growth and making it sad so that it only produces flowers of one sex! I hope this isn't the case, although it seems the likelier of the two, since I did try hand-pollinating. Perhaps I am simply meant to develop an aesthetic appreciation of cucumbers this year.

The basil, relentless little plant that it is, is coming along fine and not posing any objection to frequent harvests and delicious pesto.

The box I like to call the nursery, because all of the slow-growing herbs are in it, is doing alright, with its oregano, parsley, and chives. Because my lavender didn't come up, I tossed some cilantro seeds in there on a whim, and two days later, POP! they looked like this!

Everyone seems to be fairly happy, though perhaps wishing they had a proper garden with unplumbable depths of earth. If an when the cucumbers make any fruiting progress, we'll get back to you!


Mom said...

Boy, would your cute little plants be having a ball in the Mountains of North Georgia, with our abundant rain fall and warm summer days. Never-the-less making the best of what you've got is a "good thing", no matter what the outcome. Remember your first garden and it's terrific yield? Your precious pots of green makes me smile. Life is good!

Ivonne said...


Everything is growing so beautifully. I'm thrilled!