Last year our container garden was a partial success. We got incredible yields of tomatoes, cucumbers, and beans, so that’s what we’re focusing on this year. I’ve nixed the peppers- they just don’t seem to do well in our space. The eggplant was a waste of space considering the two small fruit it produced so we’re not doing that this year either. I considered signing up for a community garden plot this year, but with M working so much lately I was worried that it would be a little much for me to handle on my own. Maybe next year we’ll tackle the community garden plot.
Previously, I’ve started the garden in May, but this year I wanted to get the plants in the ground a couple of weeks earlier to try and get a little longer yield time out of them. So, this weekend we went out to purchase plants and soil. I cringe when I think about how much we spent on soil, but it’s important for me to have the organic potting soil. The cheapest we could find it was $8 for a large bag. I couldn’t find organic beans, but since those grow like weeds I decided that I could try them from seeds this year.
I didn’t get a chance to take many pictures- the new Kindergarten-aged neighbor boy crashed our garden party and kept begging to let him use my camera, to plant the plants, dig in the dirt, etc. I have to admit I was a little annoyed by him being there. Kindergartners don’t take hints well and I didn’t want to be rude by telling him to go away- which is what I really wanted to do. This weekend has marked the one-year anniversary of my dad’s death, and for me, planting our garden this weekend was a way to honor him. I guess I felt cheated out of that special time as it was impossible to think about my dad with a screaming 6-year-old inserting himself into all of the activities. Unfortunately, I think he’s become a permanent fixture in any of my outdoor time. I know I sound like a curmudgeon who hates kids, but that’s really not the case. Mr. Tucker wasn’t happy about it either. He was on a leash and behaving, but had to be banished inside when he reacted unfavorably to having a plastic sword swung at him. (Can you blame the poor dog?!) Anyway…
Here’s what we’ve got in pots so far:
Tomatoes (1 each)- Mr. Stripey heirloom, Golden Jubilee, Napa grape hybrid, Lemon Boy, and Sweet 100 cherry
2 bush cucumbers
2 yellow straight-neck squash
1 Quinalt strawberry
1 hybrid cabbage
from seed- yellow wax and green beans (I need to check the packets for the exact variety of these.)
I’m experimenting with the cabbage- everything I read says it won’t grow in a container, but I figure I’m going to try it anyway. It’s a cheap experiment. I’ve never done the arugula or strawberries, either, so those are also experimental. Also new to our garden is the straight-neck squash, but I’m expecting those to do just fine.
We’ll be getting herbs from the Baltimore Herb Festival– there’s a great organic supplier there with hundreds of varieties to choose from. If you’re in the Baltimore area you should definitely check out the herb festival- it’s held at Leakin Park and last year it was absolutely lovely. There were some guest speakers, lots of vendors selling all sorts of potted flowers, herbs (obviously), honey and different types of jellies and jams, also birdhouses and feeders made out of gourds, and some home-sewn herbal eye and neck wraps. It was a fun time and a great place to stroll and take everything in.
I’m still growing herbs hydroponically in my AeroGarden, but those are nearing the end of their cycle and in a few weeks, I’ll be replacing them with salad greens for the summer. No need to grow herbs indoors during the summer months when I’ll have copius amounts of them growing outdoors.
For those who have gardens, Organic Grocery Deals is running a great little Spring Garden giveaway contest with a prize of $50 worth of organic gardening supplies (you pick!) from Amazon.com. You have to be a member to participate, but it’s free to sign up. You can check out the contest here. Last day to enter is May 15th.