Windowbox veggies- advice?

Discussion in 'Fruit and Vegetable Gardening' started by Sarina, Jun 25, 2008.

  1. Sarina

    Sarina Member

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    I wanted to try and grow from seed this year, some veggies and herbs, in my windowbox. Its east facing and gets full sun all day (yanno, when that occasionally happens in van this june! ;-) ).

    2 concerns:
    1. The cilantro is going red and Im not sure if its burnt, a red like hybrid or maybe theres not enough depth of soil? I tried splitting it out to other planters (still same dirt) and some are on the verge of bolting and others are totally stagnant.


    2. I planted a tonne of lettuces and some are doing superbly and others are from 1/8" to 1/2" high. All the same seed, soil and windowbox in the beginning. I've done some thinning to see if I could encourage some growth. Sizes are definitely a mystery!

    Any ideas or suggestions?
     

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    Last edited: Jun 25, 2008
  2. jeanneaxler

    jeanneaxler Active Member

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    When this happens to me-same everything and one works well and the other does nothing-I blame it on the seed since it is the only variable. Needless to say I am very interested in what other people think.
     
  3. WesternWilson

    WesternWilson Active Member 10 Years

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    It looks like the window is too hot for the cilantro. It really prefers cool nights and something less than full sun. Wherever I plant it out in my garden it gets massive! And seeds freely.

    You may have more luck, if you can manage it, growing pots outside in successive sowings, then bringing one a week in to be handy for cooking on your kitchen windowsill.

    As for the lettuce, are the big and small the same variety? Looks like the stunted ones are afflicted with damping off ie. a fungus attacked them. It is a common problem when you start seeds especially indoors. Google "damping off" for more info.
     
  4. Sarina

    Sarina Member

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    Aha! Thanks for the cilantro info - that makes sense. MAybe I can harvest some seeds from them (they've all since bolted) and start again. As a newbie veggie grower, I read the packet of seeds for instructions. Guess it was just too general on their part to say 'full sun'. ;-)

    As for the lettuces, yes they were all the same seeds, germinated in the same window trough box with same soil and liquid fertilizer. But mayve the damping off can happen to some in the batch and not others. A mystery!

    But thanks for the info and nopw I know a new term and what to look out for with the next batch!

    Cheers!
     
  5. WesternWilson

    WesternWilson Active Member 10 Years

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    In my experience, windowbox herbs are best started and grown out in the outdoors, then brought in when large enough to be useful. I had a small oblong planter in my last kitchen window (enlarged the sill to hold herbs in pots) which I kept stocked with 5" pots of herbs from my outside garden bench. That worked well, and the last few pots usually limped along till January!
     
  6. jeanneaxler

    jeanneaxler Active Member

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    I suppose dumping off is an option but it looks more like stunted growth for the lettuce.
    When it happens to me with peppers or eggplants they look normal no bugs no fungus just not growing!
    Very frustrating!
     
  7. Sarina

    Sarina Member

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    Well the mystery continues - ha ha!

    The bigger lettuces continue to grow and are looking lovely despite a rescue from a bad sunburn [oops!].

    The others in different pots are at different growths and now -mor weird stuff - are differnt textures. The ones in the outside windowboxes (all were grown outdoors btw) seem to look and feel thick like cabbages, while the ones inside and south facing are gettng serated edges. looks like a catepillar was at work, but all the leaves have it the same way and there's no bugs.

    I wonder if this is a GMO thing?

    I'll keep ya posted.
     
  8. jeanneaxler

    jeanneaxler Active Member

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    What am I missing?
     
  9. WesternWilson

    WesternWilson Active Member 10 Years

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    This sounds like a mixed packet of seed...did you plant a mesclun mix by any chance?
     
  10. Sarina

    Sarina Member

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    Nope. Just a packet of MacKenzie Romaine.
    Thanks for the feedback though.
     
  11. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Can you post us a pic of your developing lettuces?

    Some Romaine cultivars have serrated edges like that, and leatheriness can be typical of lettuces grown in full sun.... I've never really trusted McKenzie seeds; once I bought some that were labeled "pumpkin" and they grew zuchinnis instead. It's entirely possible that you ended up with Mesclun instead of standard Romaine.
     
  12. Sarina

    Sarina Member

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    Mesculun - well now that makes sense!

    Frankly I thought they might be some cabbage derrative or strain as they that that same texture. I even tried one and it was horridly bitter, even 'bled' white when I broke the leaves or stems. Most I've given up on and in fact the ones I'd given to a friend to put in her garden did the same thing.

    What IS curious is how the 1 batch of 6 grew into eatable lettuces and all the rest became nasty bitter cabbage=y things. Perhaps just luck or the draw. Too bad I didnt get zucchinnis too!

    Well, Im off to decide what to do next. Some sort of fallish flowers may be a better bet!

    Thanks again.
     
  13. WesternWilson

    WesternWilson Active Member 10 Years

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    It is also possible that the bitter cabbage type plants were just weeds! Although some mesclun mix plants are bitter, I can't remember ever seeing one exude white sap.
     
  14. JanR

    JanR Active Member

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    Lettuce will often exude white sap, especially when it starts to form a central spike ready to go to seed.
     

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