Thursday Things

1. I’ve decided, possibly but hopefully not too late in the year, to expand my gardening repertoire to things I can eat.

foodgarden

Behold! My vegetable and herb garden.

For reasons beyond my understanding, some time many years ago, a neighbor who moved on long before I came into the picture decided to fill an old-timey claw foot bathtub with dirt, put it in the courtyard, and plant inside of it. A rotation of building residents have used it over the years, and since its former users moved out, my future landlord granted me permission to use it this season after seeing my flower setup. (To alleviate any confusion here: I decided many months ago to move out of my current apartment, but instead of going the Craigslist route like I have in the past, this time I’ll be moving into an established apartment with a roommate I already know. Since I decided to move well before planting season began and knew exactly where I’d be moving, I figured it’d make the most sense to plant everything at my new apartment rather than plant at my current place and try to move everything a couple months later.)

The bathtub obviously has a lot more space than your standard container, and I’ve wanted to try my hand at growing things I can eat for quite some time, so I figured this was my golden opportunity. I’m starting small this year with one basil plant, one dill plant, one oregano plant, and one tomato plant. The herbs, obviously, came ready to eat, so I only have to try to not kill those to consider them a success. The tomato plant, on the other hand, is a total gamble. I have no idea what will happen, but if I can keep it alive and get at least one tomato out of it this year, I’ll be beyond proud of myself. (I bought an “early girl” tomato plant, which is supposed to produce fruit faster than standard tomato plants. Hopefully that’ll help me out in my quest to not fail at tomato gardening.)

2. At the Chicago Flower and Garden Show earlier this year, I picked up a few free packets of wildflower seeds. I planted them on the other side of the bathtub from the herbs/tomato a couple of weeks ago, and really didn’t expect anything to happen, since I’ve never had any success trying to get seeds to grow. But look what happened this time!

flowersprouts

I have sprouts! I have no idea which kind of flowers these may turn out to be, but they look distinctly different from the weeds that sprout in the tub on what seems like a daily basis, so I’m sure they’re from the seed packet. I’m so excited! I also have two packets of milkweed seeds I was going to plant, but upon further seed packet inspection, I saw that I’m only supposed to plant those seeds in early spring or late fall, so I’ll hold off on putting those into the ground until October or so, when I also plan to plant tulip and daffodil bulbs to hopefully have a lovely spring garden next year!

3. I crossed one more item of my Chicago Bucket List on Tuesday: eat at Pequod’s. Pequod’s consistently tops the list of the best place to get pizza in Chicago. I had never been, partially because the rumors of long waits intimidated me, and partially because Giordano’s has the best pizza in Chicago and yes, that is absolutely a hill I’m willing to die on, but on Tuesday I was in the neighborhood with several other people from my company for our annual volunteering day, and our group leader had decided we should go there for lunch. While I still maintain that Giordano’s is the best, I have to say, that caramelized cheese on the crust of Pequod’s pizza really was something else. I definitely see why people like it so much! It beats Lou Malnati’s by a mile, that’s for sure.

Have you ever had Pequod’s pizza?
What do I need to do to keep my tomato plant alive and thriving?

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5 thoughts on “Thursday Things

  1. I have never had Peaquod’s because I don’t like waiting and because I’m perfectly happy with Aurelio’s. (Great up near the original location.)

    I’ve been doing a container garden on my balcony for a few years, all stuff you can eat. I’ve actually never killed a tomato plant, although last year mine got “bottom rot.” Maybe I was adding too much Miracle-Gro to the water (considering the potting soil was also from Miracle-Gro)? So this year, I’m just watering and letting the sun do it’s thing (my unit is south-facing so the balcony gets tons of sunlight. Does the tub drain at the bottom? If not, just make sure not to overwater? How much sunlight does the tub get?

    • I’m not actually sure if the tub drains or not. I never thought to investigate! From how it looks, it seems like it was just a regular old bathtub that someone took out of a bathroom and put outside, so I doubt that it drains like a pot with holes on the bottom would drain, but it’s also as deep as a regular clawfoot tub, so I’m guessing the dirt is a foot and a half or two feet deep? I don’t know if the “regular” rules of container garden draining apply when there’s that much dirt to begin with. So many things I should’ve researched before planting haha. I think it gets a decent amount of sun. It’s in a courtyard, so it doesn’t get any very early morning or very late afternoon sun, but it gets sun for most of the midday, I think. It’s already grown a TON since I planted it last Saturday without a whole lot of help on my end, other than watering it a couple of times, so I’m assuming that’s a good sign. But I also don’t know if plant growth necessarily means future tomato growth. I have no idea what I’m doing. Hahaha.

      • Well, a tub should have a hole in the bottom for the drain, so hopefully it does drain, if not, it is pretty deep. I think tomoatoes are pretty easy plants. Once you start seeing flowers, the actual tomato fruit will follow! Mine are starting to show flowers so I’m getting excited LOL.

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