January 25, 2010

HouseWorks: Garden Beginnings

This year we want a big garden. BIG. Like, ridiculous-up-to-our-eyeballs-in-plants big. Well, OK maybe that's just me. I LOVE plants, and plants that give me food are even better. We had a very sad attempt at container gardening at our apartment one year. It wasn't the plants' fault... I just forgot to water them. They were out on the sad excuse for a back porch in an area we never really looked at. Add in the fact that we didn't have a drip system and it was just too hot on some days to go out and water... Needless to say, everything shriveled up and died.


This year we're trying again. Now we have an area where they will be paid attention to and Ben has been talking about setting up a drip system for everything once it's planted. My grandmother (who is a planting queen) has said that, for our area, now is the time to get things started inside. So that's what we did yesterday. Or rather, Ben started it and I took pictures.

We're using recycled containers to start our garden this year (plus the one in the window which is from the 99 cent store). It's a heck of a lot cheaper than going out and buying fancy containers to start everything in. So here's how we did it.

I bought eggs at FoodMaxx awhile ago and they come in Styrofoam cartons. I saved them for this purpose. You won't want to use the cardboard ones because they'll just deteriorate from the water. Cut the lid from the bottom. Don't throw the lid away. You can place it under the carton as a tray to catch water.
Next poke holes in the bottom of each "bubble" using some sort of poky device. I used a knife and just twisted it a little as I pulled it out to open the hole. This is for drainage.


Fill the cartons with dirt (or watch as your hubby does it). We used whatever was in the green tubs that my grandmother gave us for our original garden attempt. I think it's potting soil.

 As you can see in the top picture I have three cartons. Two will be tomatoes. The other one is jalapenos.

Plant the seeds according to the depth it calls for on the package. In our case, it was 1/8 inch. Just eyeball it. Then give them a spritz with water. Just enough to moisten the dirt, don't drown them. I used the spray bottle I keep around to block my knitting. It was the easiest way to water without washing everything away.

There you go! Stick them somewhere they will get sun. We have an old dresser we put in the garage under the lone window for Ben's work bench. He cleared that off and it is now our garden bench.

 This is our onion. One from the bag we bought (for eating) was making a desperate attempt to avoid consumption. So I asked Ben if we could plant it. We stuck it in one of the coffee tubs that we saved and put him in the same window. That was about a month ago and he's been going CRAZY. Apparently he loves it. Every now and then we'll break off some greens for eating. I am planning on hacking him back pretty soon and drying the greens for later use. 

That little container on the window sill is where I planted cilantro. I have a twin container on the kitchen window sill that holds our mint plant. I'm also planning on planting lettuce, basil, bell peppers, garlic, green beans, broccoli, and potatoes. Hopefully. I can't wait until we have a kitchen full of home grown produce!


Farm Girl said...

Okay, I don't want to gloat here, but is that tomato seeds I see being planted??? Not to mention, is that Ben's hands planting the seeds? Chortle, chortle...I am so glad I have lived this long to see this.
Thanks Meg for posting and also sending the links. We never could find out to fix the header thing. We will just keep working on it though, your blog looks so nice.

Meg said...

Haha that's funny because as I was writing this I was thinking "Oh, Mom's gonna have a cow that we're planting tomatoes." They're for salsa, of course! ;)

Maybe I can help you with the header on Wednesday if you don't get it by then.

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