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Sep 17, 2010
It’s official: My plants are NYC tough
Amanda Green  Guest Blogger 2010

This summer, the NYC weather patterns fluctuated as dramatically as Lady Gaga's wardrobe. One day it would be scorching hot, followed by jungle monsoon time, and now the city's enjoying that we-can-call-this-fall-maybe stage. On any given week, two of these patterns will present themselves. Sometimes it occurs in the same schizophrenic sort of day. New Yorkers will be walking around with fleece layered over short shorts and a tank top. This is how the worst fashion trends get started, I think.

I left the city awhile back and tried to be a responsible gardener. I got a friend to water the plants — she's small and could easily slip out of the living room window and onto the fire escape without looking like a burglar. My friend was lucky to get a series of rainy days, so she only watered the plants once. I came back to find them thirsty, but green and upright. The red pepper that had been growing gradually into something right out of a farmer's market had fully ripened. It's official: All of my Burpee plants made it out alive. (Well, except the herbs, but let's call those practice.)

The days are getting shorter now, and I haven't heard the drone of the air conditioner for a few weeks. NYC is collectively wearing more clothing — well, on weekdays anyway. With each morning crisper and chillier than the one before, I wonder when I should break out the sweaters and boots again. But now something else is on my mind: Where does a garden go when it's cold six months of the year?

Do I let the cold slowly kill the plants I've watered these last few months? Do I bring them inside, where the warm air of the radiator could be just as hazardous? I can't just pull the entire garden out of its pots and chuck it down a trash chute. (Knowing these hardy plants, they might sprout in the apartment's basement, anyway.)

I'll miss the little guys when the snow starts collecting and all my tomatoes are store-bought. But until then, I keep watching and watering. I tell autumn to take its time.

Reader Comments (2)
You may be surpized at how long a hardy veggie plant will last indoors. Place in a corner not near the radiator and out of the way. You can buy a plant bulb that fits a regular lamp and shine it on them for about 8 hours a day. Great experiment!
Sunday, September 26, 2010 | darla
I did 8 containersof tomatoes, two trays of herbs and one tomato plant in the ground (which was the best one of course) But it was the first official time of trying to container garden and I loved it! Cannot wait until I can get started again...this time with Burpee plants and not the walmart brand.
Sunday, April 3, 2011 | TamiaB
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