Sunday, June 16, 2013

The end of this generation of indoor gardens...

So, it's been a while since I posted on the blog. Wait'll you hear this one. But just be forewarned--this post is not for the squeamish.

My AeroGardens were both doing pretty well, despite the unpleasantness I described earlier. The herb garden was doing well below; I decided to let the thyme, sage, and oregano continue to bloom on the Ultra, while on top the tomato plant was growing voraciously, although despite my almost incessant "pollinating", flowers and fruits were simply not growing. I did manage the harvest about three red tomatoes, but that's about it.

I've lost track of how many times I've tried to grow tomatoes in the Aerogarden. I do know I've spent close to $100 on seed kits and have harvested about 20 tomatoes across all of my attempts, meaning that I've effectively paid $5 per tomato, not counting the electricity costs. Long story short, I've concluded that the Tall Aerogardens just aren't suitable for tomatoes. Maybe in some controlled environment you can get a yield of hundreds of them, but I've decided that it's just not worth the effort anymore. Maybe when Y2K hits and I'll need to grow my own food supply I'll think about it again, but otherwise I'll just buy my tomatoes at the local farmer's market.

Sadly, the whiteflies continued to infest the herbs. I put those yellow sticky traps on and they'd be filled with dozens of them every day. It became a daily ritual of shaking the leaves, using the Dyson handheld to vacuum up the ones that flew out, and relying on the sticky traps to catch the rest. But it was a losing battle.

The good news is that the battle finally ended. The bad news is how it did.

One day, my wife started noticing little black specks on her smartphone. I didn't think too much of it at first. But then we noticed them on the kitchen counter, and then all over the appliances. There were a few at first, but then there were dozens, and then hundreds! :( After a quick Google search, I concluded that these were bird mites, as a bird had built a nest inside our walls a few weeks earlier and evidently once the birds are gone the mites start commuting to try to find other sources of food, which meant us.

The mites quickly took over our kitchen, where I was treated to multiple infestations of whiteflies and black bird mites.

Happily, after suffering about two weeks, we did get all the mites exterminated, but not before I had to put an end to both Aerogardens.

I do have some extra seed kits lying around, which I'll plant in a few weeks, but in the meantime I'm going to enjoy a few weeks of critter-free existence.

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