I've been mentioning my garden doings on Serina's blog and in private emails with her, and I thought I'd compile and post the relevant info here.

March 15:

Whoohoo! I just placed my order with fedco, and we’ve been preparing our squares out front. Jon just helped me finish de-sodding them this afternoon. I have an order for coarse vermiculite coming next week to a local nursery, and we’ll be on our way! It is so nice to be outside again, in the warm sunshine. Even though I was (one of the few who?) wasn’t really ready for winter to be over, I am very happy that spring has arrived.

March 16:

This is my order.  Some first choices were out of stock, and some seeds we have left over, and broccoli I bought from a local store since I need to start it indoors before he order is likely to come.  We're doing five 4x4 blocks of square foot gardening, with vertical frames on four of them. And the sunflowers along the front of our porch.  I'm also planning on buying tomato plants this year, I think I mentioned that before.

We were going to give Jonathan a 2x2 square for his own, and Noah a 1x1, but Jon thought we might as well just do a 4x4 for them together, once we started making the squares.  I am planning on planting the mint in a buried container, to keep it from spreading everywhere.

Provider Bush Green Bean
Sugar Ann Snap Pea
de Bourbonne Pickling Cucumber
Marketmore 76 Slicing Cucumber
Black Zucchini
Saffron Summer Squash
New England Pie Pumpkin
Chioggia Beet
Detroit Dark Red Short Top Beet
Bright Lights Chard
Feherozon Sweet Pepper
Fernleaf Dill
Common Mint
Tashkent Marigold OG
Empress of India Nasturtium
Rocket Mix Snapdragon
Summer Sensation Sunflower

It's been lovely weather here, too, for being outside and working with dirt and worms. (: I was pleasantly surprised to see how many earthworms are already in my dirt.  And I have a hard time keeping Jonathan from putting them on display in places where the poor things will dry out. Noah is on my (and the worms') side, though - he yells at Jonathan, "Home!" and points to the dirt. (:


After reading Serina's regrets that she did not screen her soil materials, I have decided to screen ours.  So far I am working on the few inches of existing soil that we will mixing our additions into.  It's a lot of work because the soil is clayey and clumpy, and because I'm trying to salvage as many of those lovely earthworms as I can.  I finished one square today and it does look nice.  Jonathan enjoyed raking it smooth with the boys' new little rake.

Jon is wondering if it will be worth it for us to rent a roto-tiller so the clumps are at least a bit smaller and less work for me to sift.

I'm test sprouting our old seeds to make sure they're still good, and if not we'll have to buy replacements.  We wasted several radish seeds and a bunch of carrot seeds when the boys tried to help me when I had to be out of the room for something.


Posted by Heather Daley on March 18, 2009, 6:41 pm | Read 16827 times
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Oooo! What fun! Makes me want to garden . . . um, in our living room? The hall stairs? The concrete entry way? Too bad. :(

Posted by IrishOboe on March 19, 2009, 3:39 am

You can try something in pots with florescent lights over it. If you're allowed to put some pots in that open space between the two buildings, that would be something to try. You'd have to ask around to see what kinds of vegetables or herbs grow well in your area in pots. Radishes, lettuces, and hot peppers especially, did fine for us when we were in the city. But we did have a porch sill to put the pots out in the real sun.

Posted by joyful on March 19, 2009, 11:19 am

We could always get rid of some of the indoor plants (like the devious yucca) and replace them with other stuff (perhaps even on a sill or pots in the metal grate).

Posted by Stephan on March 19, 2009, 11:47 am

I think I forgot to tell people that I finally lost the extra souvenir that I brought home from Switzerland. I finally got fed up with it and did a serious eye-washing (it ended up the best tool for the job was our water-powered tooth flosser substitute... I put it on as low power as it would go and sprayed around. Since that was at the end of an hour or two working on my eye, I couldn't tell if it had done anything, but the next morning, realized it had moved(!) so that was a good sign - that it was actually a particle, and not a scratch or something worse on the eye. So, I washed it out again that day, and the next day, there didn't seem to be anything in it.

I went to my appointment anyway, and the doctor shined a fancy ultraviolet light and some other light with a rather large contraption, and pronounced that it was agitated, not scratched currently, but perhaps had been scratched in the past, and was working on healing itself. He gave me a recommendation for an over-the-counter eye drops, but I haven't bought it, since it seems to have been fixed. I didn't tell him about the tooth flosser trick, but I don't think he was impressed with washing it out, I suppose that is why he makes the big bucks, and wouldn't want to be replaced with things you can do at home...

Posted by jondaley on March 19, 2009, 1:09 pm

As far as gardening in the city goes, I've seen some pictures of neat platforms people have built outside their windows that stretch out over the open air and provide way more space for growing things than what we had in Pittsburgh.

Posted by jondaley on March 19, 2009, 1:11 pm

I didn't want the winter to end, either :-) But gardening is fun. The squirrels helped by planting some extra crocus bulbs in our front yard this year...

Posted by Laedelas on March 19, 2009, 11:58 pm

Maybe I used the wrong container (I don't remember what I used), but when I planted my mint in a buried container it still spread everywhere.

I hope you do it correctly.

Posted by MNKB on March 20, 2009, 9:43 pm

Hmm, thank you MNKB. I was just thinking this morning of not burying the pot, since we have plastic pots already and I figured I'd want a terra cotta pot for burying, which I'd have to buy because our other ones broke. How's that for a run-on sentence? (:

Posted by joyful on March 21, 2009, 7:33 am

Today we added 2 (3.8cuft) bags of peat moss and 80lb each of cow manure compost and mushroom compost, spread over our five boxes and the area in front of the porch. It was too much work to do in a day - exhausting for all and small nerves got raw.

It was at Jon's suggestion that I got this stuff before my order of vermiculite came in, and I'm glad, because that stuff is heavy and it filled up the car. And I thought I'd be carrying 4 bags each of vermiculite and peat moss home in one trip...

The original reason was to get some peat moss in if it rains, so the whole thing doesn't turn into a flat of mud clay that dries into rock.

Posted by joyful on March 23, 2009, 8:29 pm
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