Thursday, May 14, 2009

Container Garden Update: Life outside, browning leaves, and apple tree love (or not)!

It's been raining most of the week, but thankfully the sun is making brief apperances today and promises to be out in force this weekend. Assuming we're done with torrential rain for a while (fingers crossed!), we figured today was as good a day as any to start introducing our tomato and pepper starts to the great outdoors. We placed them outside in the shade for about an hour this afternoon. Tommorrow we'll increase the amount of time outside and the amount of light they get. With any luck, they'll slowly acclimate to the natural sunshine and outside elements and be ready for planting within a couple weeks...

So far we've had good luck with our starts. A couple weeks back we transfered them from small peat pots into larger 4" containers without losing any of them. We've got over a dozen healthy looking tomato plants and hopefully the final transfer/transplant to the outdoors will result in at least several healthy plants.

Browning leaves?
Many of the peas we planted weeks ago have developed a light (and in some cases not so light) browning of the leaves near the base. Could be a number of things. They're still growing strong above so I'm not too worried yet. We'll see how they progress...

To pollinate or not?
Last thing to report on is our columnar apple tree (pictured above from the top down). It's ablaze in leaves. Can't believe it was a barren stick just a month back. We had grand visions of pollinating it and maybe enjoying some apples this year, but then a gardener at the nursery told us pollinating a dwarf tree in its first year isn't the way to go. Apparently when these trees bear fruit this young it can be stressful to the roots and stunt their future growth. Our tipster told us if the tree does become naturally pollinated anyway, we should promptly remove any apples we see growing. Don't know for sure if this is true, but it sounds reasonable. Anybody know for certain or have different ideas?


Ian Miller said...

Re: the apple tree, I tend to agree with the advice you've been given. Give the young tree a chance to focus on its foliage and roots before making it worry about fruit production. You'll be better off in the long run, though it does ask for yet more patience from you. I have a few fruit trees and it's agonizing watching them grow, but I know that maybe next year I'll start getting fruit and that makes the wait a bit less painful.

BTW, I'm a member of California Rare Fruit Growers (and Food Not Lawns). If you ever need help with fruit tree info, let me know and I'll find you the right info.

Rob said...

Thanks for the second opinion Ian. I suspected the advice we received was pretty good, but it's good to hear from someone else!

The Cooking Lady said...

So far my garden is doing AOK...except for my cucumbers. And I am not thee only one facing this same problem.

Two other ladies are having thier plants bloom, and even begin to produce cukes and than Whamo! they start dying.

Mine started off so pretty. Nice big green leaves and then the bottom leaves started dying off and yet they are beginning to climb the fence. I am pulling my hair out trying to figure out what the heck is going on.