Monday, March 12, 2012

Do I have a green thumb?

The answer has always been a resounding "NO!"  But I am hoping to change that this time around.  Mainly because I am not fully in charge of the growing.  I am an apprentice of sorts.

I have dreams of having luscious gardens, backyard animals, whole meals made from scratch - oh I could go on and on about it.  But I will save that for another day.  

Right now I am taking the first steps and starting to get my hands dirty.  Dr. Bob and I live in an apartment complex with no room for growing so I have to go elsewhere.  Sure I could look into securing a spot in a community garden - but I really have no clue how to get a garden started.  Enter my local homeowner pals.  It came up in conversation with one and I was totally game, then I asked another and possibly another.  I am going to spend this growing season assisting with 2, maybe 3 gardens so I can take notes, learn techniques, and experiment for my future garden.  I am super excited!

So Cicely and I made a date to clean up her gardens this past Saturday and get this year's crop planted.  We had a great time.  This is her 2nd year with a garden in GA and let me tell you how much easier it was for her this year than last year....LOTS!  Last year she had to start by building her gardens - digging holes, building the raised beds, shoveling new dirt in, and then planting - most of this was all by herself - PHEW!  I'm tired just thinking about it.  This year we only had to clear out weeds and old plants, rake some, and start planting.  We flew through the task on 2 of her 4 raised beds:

Backyard raised bed #1:
 Backyard raised bed #2:

In these raised beds you will find: 4 different types of peas, 3 types of swiss chard, lettuce, mesclun, kale, and 2 types of carrots.

Then Cicely indulged me a little so we experimented on something I found on a blog - a potato box!

Apparently this sucker can yield up to 100 pounds of potatoes and only takes up a 4 square foot area in your yard!  I lurv me some potatoes.  If this turns out to work well, I am going to have these suckers at all of my friends houses and we will be doing multiple plantings of these.  According to the article (which was written in Portland or Seattle - much different climate up there), you can plant potatoes in April and again in August.  Here in GA they say you can start as early as January...we could have backyard potatoes all year round!  I am crossing my fingers that these Yellow Fin potatoes are a success!

I learned that these items went in her backyard because they were considered "cool weather plants."  Her backyard does not get a ton of sun so that is why they are grown back here.  The front yard is where she has 2 more raised beds which will be home to those items needing lots of sun.  We are getting together next Saturday to tackle those raised beds.

Okay back to the planting.  Next we needed to get some seedlings planted.  Technically we could have started them at least a month ago but we are all still getting used to the seasons down here (Cicely moved from Boston about 1.5 years ago so we are both not used to such an early start time) - better late than never I say!

We are trying a method where we plant the seeds in trays to get started, then when they start to sprout, we will thin them out into their own little containers to finish growing before they are put in the ground.

Here you will find: a variety of tomatoes, eggplant, celery, cauliflower, basil, thyme, parsley, lavender, sweet peppers, hot peppers, jalapenos, and tomatillos.

We called it a night after that because it was getting late but the day was a lot of fun.

This upcoming weekend we hope to get the raised beds in the front yard cleared out, prepped, and planted (as much as we can until the seedlings are ready, that is).

This is such a fun new adventure for me.  Thanks Cicely for allowing me to help!

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