Sunday, April 11, 2010

Gardening - 2010

The weather was gorgeous today – sunny and in the upper 50s, low 60s.  Add to that the fact that I had a minimal headache, and it was a day begging for gardening.  Of course, I’m not much of a gardener, but we do have our two Square Foot Gardens in the back yard and I like flowers in the front yard.

Last year, our Square Foot Gardens were moderately successful, but we learned only after they were established that there is not really a truly sunny spot in the backyard.  Bummer.  Because of that (and the fact that the summer was chilly), we didn’t get really good yields on much of anything except green beans.  Several of our plants were also not helped by the fact that the green beans were shading them because the green beans grew so well. 

Today I cleaned out one of the SFGboxes and loosened up the dirt.  As I was doing this, I discovered that we hadn’t harvested 8 or 10 of the onions last year, so Grandma cleaned them up and chopped them up for us.  Mr. Math Tutor turned over our compost and we discovered that it’s not quite ready for use in the garden this year (another casualty of not enough sun, I think) so we’ll probably add some Miracle Gro to the soil.  Besides, we really don’t need much more soil volume in the box.  I haven’t started on the other box yet (although the first one only took about 30 minutes), but it’s going to be a little more complicated because Rosie Girl’s strawberries are in one corner of that box and can’t be disturbed.

I’m going to just grow carrots and green beans in SFG box #1 (the one without strawberry plants).  I ordered seeds this year from Park Seed.  I’m not sure if that will make much difference, but we’ll see.  In the other box, I’m going to try broccoli again (maybe I’m a glutton for punishment) and some bellflowers (the website said easy to grow and likes light shade).

I would also like some herbs, but I’m going to grow them in containers so I can put them in a nice, sunny spot.  I’m probably going to start the seeds indoors, so I purchased some fiber (not peat – we’re saving the bogs here!) pots and a tray with a dome to keep the cats out.  I’m going to try sage, spearmint, catnip, oregano, and basil.

We are still going to grow our tomatoes and cucumbers from the bottom of buckets, but we’re going to use old ice cream buckets instead of the big 5 gallon buckets.  We’re also going to move the shepherd’s crook to a sunny spot.  I am planning on starting the seeds indoors so I can get a head start this year.

For the front bed, I’ve normally purchased plants, but this year, I decided on something different this year.  I’m going to start lavender from seed and then plant it in pots then put the pots along the back of the bed with the other perennials that are there.  I ordered some Wave Petunia seed pellets from Park Seed that I will start indoors and then put in some rectangular planters that will go in the front bed.  (Fifteen years ago, I tried to grow Park Seed Purple Wave Petunias along with a bunch of other flowers.  The petunias were the only ones that grew and they were amazing.  I’m pretty confident I can get these to grow.)  I love Wave Petunias and I bought the variety that creep all over, so I hope to have a luscious carpet of petunias this summer (for less money than when I buy the plants).

Rosie Girl and I also love Morning Glories, so I bought some small pots to have some of those vine up along the handrail on our front stoop.

I hope that these are things I can do a little at a time between headaches.  It helps that my kids are old enough to help as well.  Using containers will also give us more flexibility and spare my back, particularly in the front flowerbed!

Well, if you’re still reading, you must be related to me!  I do reserve the right to change my mind at any time.  Mr. Math Tutor and I are still thinking about putting a SFG vegetable box or two in the front yard where we have some sunshine.  I’m also interested in putting another box in the backyard for growing asparagus (I love stir-fried asparagus – well, as much as I can love a vegetable).  So, that’s the plan.

What about you?  Any gardening plans on the horizon?  Any advice for me?

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