How My Garden Goes – Part 1

Posted: March 21st, 2011 | Author:

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    1.  Major real estate acquisition.
    My last post was about the only real outdoor space I have — a small front yard right on Bushwick Avenue. I still may put a few SIPs out there, or at the very least do something to beautify the space, but I’m just afraid that my fruiting plants will be too enticing for passersby. To some extent I like the idea of a stranger plucking a ripe heirloom tomato or snipping some thai basil from my garden and just enjoying it. But to a larger extent, I want the make sure the tomatoes actually ripen, and that my friends and I get to eat a few of them. 

    The front yard is the most easily accessible and has some soil there already, but I thought of two other potential spots: a small square of concrete outside two of my roommates’ bedroom windows, and my next-door neighbors’ backyard. I can actually access their backyard by climbing out my window and heading down a small junk-filled path. It’s a pretty large yard (by NYC standards), though in complete disrepair.

    Overcoming my nerves, I finally knocked on their door on Saturday. They were a bit confused at first (“So, you’re going to sell fruit?”), and didn’t totally understand that I can access their backyard from my bedroom window (“You can’t get there, the door is locked for the winter!”) but they eventually agreed to let me use their backyard! They actually used to grow things back there (flowers, mainly) but it seemed like they hadn’t planted anything in two years.  Thank you neighbors!

    2.  Sub-Irrigating.
    I’m going to be growing in sub-irrigated planters (SIPs). These cool planters are also referred to to as “self-watering” containers, but that name seems to focus on the laziness of the the garden. Sub-irrigated makes it sound like I”m doing something sophisticated. I guess for the purpose of advocacy — getting lots of people to grow their own produce — self-watering is a more helpful term. But for my own ego, I will be implementing an integrated sub-irrigated planter system. I’ll be talking a lot more about SIPs as the season goes on.

    3.  Seedlings
    I’ve had to decide whether I’ll be starting my own seeds indoors or buying seedlings that I can plant after the last frost. I’ll definitely be trying to start some seeds indoors, but because of the limited sunlight coming through my limited windows, I think most of my plants will come from nursery- or store-bought seedlings.

More on all of this soon!

 

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