As part of my journey into the world of sustainable food, last winter, I grew a small vegetable garden. Remember my photos of kale, lettuce, and spinach (before the spinach was eaten by a mysterious garden gnome)? I really enjoyed the experience and I got comfortable with urban gardening.
I knew I’d start another round of seedlings this spring and so I waited and waited all through "winter." Then, one day, I turned around to find that our lime tree grew hundreds of new leaves, and I knew it was time! Two weeks ago, I hit up the local gardening store and had a great time picking out plants. WOW, there were more tomato varieties than I ever imagined!
I brought everything home and spent a day outside prepping pots and sowing seedlings. It was a gorgeous, hopeful site. Planting a new garden gives me an unparalleled feeling of massive potential.
This time around I decided to step it up (bigger is better, right?). I used every available pot we own and planted:
I predict 60% of the plants will make it to the food-harvesting stage. Some will get eaten by pests and some won’t be in their optimal growing conditions. But that’s okay, I’m still experimenting and I’m keeping my expectations low --- this is a pretty amateur project, after all.
I’m interested this time around to determine if gardening like this is saving me any money. Based on what I can grow, will it come out to be less expensive than buying these items at the grocery store this summer? I saved my receipt from purchasing the plants, so TBD on that one.
A few observations:
- The roots of the beet plants were pink and purple -- awesome!
- I think I originally planted the pea plants too close together. Last weekend I re-potted some of them to spread them out.
- On the days that I’m home, I obsessively watch the sun move across the garden to determine which pots are getting too much sun and which aren’t getting enough. The benefit to planting in pots is that I can move them around as much as I want...which is frequently.
Here are the photos so far:
Also, there really is something to the whole gardening-as-a-way-to-relax notion…I promise. Every time I go out there, I stop thinking about work, about errands, about wedding planning (!) and instead just focus on the plants. It's great.
Are you planting an urban garden this spring? What will you be growing? Let me know in the comments below!