Growing and Expanding: Learning from Watching

Being a plant must be interesting –
all the energy is not in the fruits
but in the growing, finding the sun,
shielding from too much sun,

finding a balance,
while being mostly stationary.

Attracting bees and the right critters
can be a matter of giving away all your
leaves to hungry caterpillars or
sending out signals to the nearby
plants, and having a good network to rely on.

I learned a lot more about plants from reading Daniel Chamovitz’s book, What a Plant Knows.

From own my gardening experience, on my tower at home, I’ve learned more about myself. I’m not a big fan of tomatillos; though they do look like monochrome green hot air balloons. That’s just their wrapping. You can see from the picture above, that they look like tiny green tomatoes. I’ve had one that tasted like parmesan, although that could have been my brain “filling in some data.” Then, I’ve had others that tasted like tiny unripened tomatoes. Many of them fall before I have a chance to eat them. The main reason why I am not a fan of them, particularly, is because they are monopolizing the space on the tower. At first I thought they just needed to establish themselves, but now I am wondering why, and if they need to establish THAT much space, while I’m not in-love with the crop, I might just switch out their spaces with something I eat more frequently and enjoy.

My favorite crop is the lettuce. They are starting to bolt. Those I’ll need to replace simply because I keep eating them. They replenish really quickly and I can eat salad everyday. Celery is great, but the thing to keep in mind with them is that the root system is really pervasive – so they start to monopolize the tower from the inside. All the plants seem to do really well. The green peppers are starting to form nicely, and the crook neck squash is still trying hard. I’d rather swap the green bean’s space with the tomatillos. However, I’m not making my decisions until next season, because I’m still mostly just observing right now.

One unplanned thing was adding a rock wool plug of butter lettuce that came half price at the farmer’s market. I ate it all and then planted the plug; so now it just keeps providing and providing.