Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Garden Y1-W4

In an attempt to catch up on blogging from a crazy summer and to keep my gardening posts up to date, I'm posting pictures from week 4 of our garden growth.  I attempted to grow from seed but two curious cats and a week long trip to India put a stop to that.  Nothing that I started indoors (under grow lights from my apartment gardening days) made it much bigger than a dandelion.  A convenient trip to the farmer's market helped me recover from the sad little sprouts and start my first fruitful patch - two full flats of anything I wanted for 20.00! (Bringing out garden total up to 70.00).  In short, this is to explain that my week 4 garden is larger than it would be if I had grown from seed.  But enough from me, let's get to the garden porn - these pictures are from mid-June:

Our toms at week 4
Peppers (don't get too attached) at week 4
Our paste tomatoes in the back and some brussels' sprouts at the far right.
Cucumbers in the back - getting wild.
A lettuce mixture attempted from seed.
Lettuce in the front with a crazy batch of weeds.
Close up of the baby cukes

Zucchini and Summer Squash in the back
Carrots from seed in the front

Monday, August 23, 2010

Garden Year 1-Week 1

While Sammit and I are in the process of moving into our new home, a 4 bedroom house owned by Sammit's brother in a Detroit suburb, nearly 3 months ago I started a garden next to the driveway. At the time, I knew we wouldn't be moving in until August or so, but after trying to grow produce and herbs in my apartment throughout college I could not stomach the idea of letting one more summer pass without an outdoor garden of my own. A few weeks after Mother's Day, when I was sure the soil was thawed and there would be no more frosting, I went to work on a a plot next to the house on the other side of the driveway. The plot had been a rose garden when the previous owners lived here, but there was only one rose bush and a plethora of weeds left. Sammit escorted me to Lowe's and Home Depot and we collected a shovel (for $5!!), some compost and topsoil, and a few red stones to make paths.

For about $50 and a lot of sweat over the course of two days, we I weeded and turned the garden by hand. Now, I must admit that I am proud of turning the garden by hand. When people see the size of our plot (5'x25') they are impressed by my work. I wish I could chalk it up to some manual-labor-loving-extreme-survivalist attitude, but really we just didn't have realize we had another option. It wasn't until the bed was complete that Sammit's brother, who was not impressed at the hand turned 100 square feet, told us he had an electric rototiller. I have the rest of the seasons to decide if I'd like to use it next year. While it would be faster, I really did love getting sweaty in the dirt.

Being geeks, we measured and used an excel spreadsheet to plot out our garden, taking into consideration the spacing needs of each plant we intended to harvest. While I will do this again next year, my eyes were bigger than my dirt patches when I went to the farmer's market for flats and we ended up throwing the spacing out and planted whatever the hell we wanted. We divided the plot up into 6 beds separated by a line of red bricks to form a walkway around each of them.  I alternated topsoil and composte and fit as many plants as I could.

Week 1
Bed One: Tomatoes (Cherry, Sungolds, Beefsteaks) & Fruit (Watermelon in back)
Bed Two: Fruit (Cantaloupe in back) & Tomatoes (San Marzanos) & Peppers (Bananas, Seranos, Habeneros, Jalapenos)
Bed One: Unknown Lettuce, Unknown Lettuce from Seed, Brussell's Sprouts, Cucumbers, Dill at the base of the path.
Bed Two: Cauliflower, Broccoli, Green Beans, Spearmint at the base of the path
Carrots (4 rows), Summer Squash, Zucchini, Chives at the base of the path
Herb Garden: Rose Bush, Rosemary, Sage, Oregano, Parsley, Cilantro, Thyme, Basil