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August, 2013

2013 Apartment Garden: Project

The 2013 window garden has progressed beautifully this summer. The Ikea aloe vera plant surprised me with three flowers, jalapeno flowers have been pollinated, and basil is growing like there is no tomorrow!

Both jalapeño plants are flowering even tough one almost did not survive several days outside. I experimented by leaving one plant outside for a couple of days. The plant that was taken outside received plenty of sunshine, but sadly it also had to endure plenty of hungry snails. At the end of two days I decided the extra sun was not worth the damage and continued growing both indoors. The damaged plant took a little bit longer to flower but it is doing well. Today I tried pollinating these with a small paint brush. I don’t know if the temperature is in the right range for these to turn into jalapeno peppers, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

​Even though this is my second time growing basil, this has been a learning experience. I postponed pruning my first basil plant, which resulted in this plant growing very tall and with very thin leaves. The second basil plant I planted was pruned as soon as the second set of leaves became visible, and has continued to grow very curvy and thick leaves. I’m using both for cooking with good results, but I prefer the curvy leaves since I find them are easier to chop. Most of what I learned about pruning came straight from YouTube and the book for Square Foot Gardening.

​And finally, my little Ikea aloe plant has sprouted not one, not two, but THREE flowers! They are still green and look more like Brussel sprouts, but according to the internet they are flowers and might even turn red at some point. This was a complete surprise as I didn’t even expect this plant to last this long.

​With all this in mind, I think the 2013 window garden has been a success! If I manage to get some peppers and see a red flower, I’ll be a happy gardener until next year.

A version of this blog post with photography first appeared in

2013 Apartment Garden: Text
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