Chris and Michelle asked if I could contribute to their blog, since I have been gardening a bit too - plus it's fun to have someone else to blog with too. :)
Since I don't have a yard (I rent), my mother bought me a couple of Earthboxes last year. I was pretty dubious about them at first, but I decided to try them out. I planted two tomato plants in one box and six bell pepper plants in the other. They loved the boxes and grew crazily, regardless of me planting them too early (resulting in me having to move the boxes indoors for a few weeks). I bought another to experiment with watermelon, but I ended up planting them too late. In the end though, I had tomatoes galore. I ate them fresh, cooked them onto sauces, used them for salsa, gave some away. I had peppers coming out of my ears. I used them in every recipe I could think of and begged people to take them (since they already had more at home).
This year, I have five boxes. Three of the boxes are currently planted, so here's what my patio looks like right now (I just finished the tomato box):
From Left to Right:
Earthbox #1 contains 2 Roma tomato plants. The support structure has netting for it to climb on. The structure is the add-on kit for the Earthbox and it cost a pretty penny. This will be my first time using it, so I hope it will be worth it. I used cheap tomato cages last time.
(One of my roma tomato plants being guarded by my trusty companion)
Earthbox #2 contains 2 Arugula (which is about to bolt), 2 Iceberg Lettuce, and 4 Romaine plants. This was the first box I started and I've already been able to harvest from it (as you can tell from its overflowing contents). I may have to yank up the Arugula and replant it with red lettuce if it keeps trying to bolt. The Iceberg won't form a head, so I gave up and just started harvesting it too.
Earthbox #3 contains 10 Sugar Snap Peas and 10 Green Beans. They are supported by a tee-pee structure of bamboo sticks. I spent today weaving twine around the sticks for the pea side. There's also a line of twine supporting the backsides of the Green Beans, just so they don't lean over, since it's been windy.
The other two Earthboxes are to the left (not in the photo) and will eventually contain Leeks in one and a mix of bell peppers and a Black Cherry tomato plant in the other (since I've learned that six bell pepper plants is about two bell pepper plants too many).
I also have a blueberry bush in the large container on the far right. Behind it is a strawberry pot. Both were gifts from Chris and Michelle. The blueberry bush is already blooming!
And now for this week's beauty shot, a picture of one of my Romaine plants (also available in various sizes on my Flickr page):