Last summer my poor Facebook friends had to deal with hundreds of dirt and leaf photos because of my thrilling (to me) gardening adventure. After spending 6 solid months butt-planted-in-office-chair, eyes-glued-to-screen working on my thesis, I felt an overwhelming urge to play in the dirt. Thanks to an office friend and her introduction of square-foot gardening, I decided to give it a go. This is more outrageous than you realize because I am a city girl with black thumbs. Convinced that my gardening forays would be a disaster, I half-joked that I would have to stick grocery-store veggies in the dirt when my friends came over. Happily, gardening is easier than it sounded and I’m on season II.
Some recent photogs for your viewing pleasure:
The back 40. You probably can’t tell, but those weeds are six feet tall!
My poor forsaken garden box. Got so busy with school and commuting, I never cleaned it out after last summer. Note the Lettuce Monster of Doom presiding over the weeds and spiders. Lovely.
Turns out I am a rock star weed wacker. In less than an hour, I had the entire yard mowed down. Mr. T thinks I was probably a clear-cutter in a former life. It’s just ultimate swathing* as far as I’m concerned!Garden box looking back to normal. Spent houuuuurrrsss tending the soil. Turning, mixing in soil amendment, watering. According to my master gardening sources, your soil should resemble chocolate cake crumbles. Well, there you go.
First round of plants and seed planting. You’re staring at two varieties of squash, tomatoes, bell peppers, basil, carrots, rads, seed cucs and beets. More to come!
Small squashes. You will note the testament to my love for Mr. T. There are green zucs for me and a yellow crookneck squash for him. I DESPISE yellow squash and avoided cultivating them last year, but love conquers all, yes?SPROUTS!!! I took a picture of itty bitty rads poking out at 7:30 a.m. and by 5:30 p.m., here’s what I found. Aren’t they darling?
Cucs from seeds make their entrance.
What a difference a day makes. Another 12 hours and the rads are growin’ like mad.
New herbies. Sage and cilantro. Mmmm. There is NOTHING like fresh herbs from the garden. Grocery store fresh doesn’t compare. If nothing else, get thee some herbs stat! You won’t regret it. (Garden proselytizing!)
Rads in all their glory. Time to thin I think.
So, I anthropomorphize my vegetables… don’t they look like a singing chorus? “The hills are alive with the sound of greeeen beeaaannnsss” (Yes, I know what you’re thinking and it’s true. I am a DORK.)
This is another love story for you. To me, beets taste like dirt. But Mr. T and my dear friends Heather and Jeanne J. love them. So, three patches of beats for my dear ones. Consolation for me? They are purdy.
Another 12 hours and the beans are growing up, up and away. Soon they’ll be curling around a pole and you’ll get to read my ode-to-bean-pole posts. I apologize in advance but they are just damn cool.
Streets of beets.
I’m thinking the squash will try to take over the carrots (which you can’t see yet).
I’m sensing and impending takeover. Be warned squash, you must play nice in the square foot garden.
I know, the 15th rad pic.
Finally got Thyme in my garden. For those of you who don’t know (which is probably most of you), one of Mr. T’s nicknames is Thyme thanks to the hilarious Heather Wheeler. I can’t remember why she calls him that but it’s stuck around the office. Note: For her purposes, you pronounce the TH like “Thatch.”
Bush beans are making an entrance.
Cucs from seeds. Let’s hope the aphids don’t get ’em this year!
* I think I’ve mentioned it before, but I heart swathing. Lawn mowing, vacuuming, and apparently weedwacking. Love it!
** All photos by moi!