Sunday, April 29, 2012

Planting a City Garden

I do not have a square inch of grass to my name but I want a garden.  I have access to my building's roof, but I have not found a practical way to get a hose up there or a way to prevent those pesky Chicago pigeons from feasting.  Last year, I moved into my new home in June so did not have time to really plant much.  My herb planter filled with dirt tumbled on the carpet on my way out of my old studio apartment, the two plants my mom bought me never grew their veggies, and then my topsy turveys tumbled down and broke the plastic chain (note: ONLY use strong, metal chain with those things).  2011 was not my year for gardening.  But 2012 is my Green Thumb Summer filled with city gardening, starting with a change of venue.
The best sunlight is from my private bedroom patio.  Per my mom (the expert gardener), I shouldn't try to grow anything on my back porch again.  The french fry smell lofting over from McDonalds probably was killing any nutrients my veggies would have grown anyways.  And after last year's pathetic attempt at growing more than a dozen cherry tomatoes, I did not need much convincing.  As soon as it got decently warm outside, I painted the cement on my front patio and started plotting where everything would grow.  I filled eight pots with dirt and started dividing up the seeds.  With a few new seed packets and some plastic baggies with seeds from Mom, I got my hands dirty and plopped a few seeds into the small holes in the dirt.  Add water, add sun, and a week later, all eight plants are blossoming.  This year, I will be enjoying (short n' sweet) carrots, green ice lettuce, spinach, gourmet blend lettuce, lollo rossa lettuce, Armenian cucumbers, beets, and muncher cucumbers.  I am using Burpee seeds - I had no idea how successful the seeds would be so I probably put too may seeds in each hole.  Over 95% of the seeds have grown!!!

Sunlight helping these seedlings turn to food! Day 7.
Cherry tomatoes and bell peppers will be growing in the Topsy Turveys this year.  There is more to come once the plants move outside.  I'm going to grow Swiss Chard and green beans, too!  After Mother's Day (once I pick up the rest of my small pots), I will grow a variety of herbs.  What a great way to save money!  Since I waver between being awesome at following a low fructose diet and eating frosting covered cupcakes, having a garden will allow me to pick only the vegetables I need, rather than have an abundance from the store.  Plus, does anything really beat homegrown food?  If I can do it in the city with limited space, anyone can!!!  Get growing!

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