Posted 1 year ago

publicdesignfestival:

Located in East London (United Kingdom), What Will the Harvest Be? is more than a garden: it’s an horticultural and social experiment. Conceived by Karen Guthrie and Nina Pope, the project invites anyone to participate both in the free garden club sessions, occurring three times a week from March to the end of October, and in the little events. The gate is always open and the produce is distributed among the gardeners as well as through an honesty stall on site.

Photos by Nina Pope _ All rights reserved.

Posted 1 year ago

LEAKAGE IS A GOOD THING

Yes, that’s right.  This isn’t a hibiscus peeing on my deck like some uninvited drunkard at a kegger, it’s me trying to SAVE IT’S LIFE.  

When there is no drainage you will most likely get some root-rot and soggy gross soil.  We forgot to poke holes in the bottom of a number of newer pots.  The hibiscus, two basil plants and the begonias all didn’t have any way to leak water out of the bottom and it became a major issue.  Now, after poking a bunch of holes in the bottom of all of the soggy pots, the plants have a new lease on life (I think).

I found a bunch of mushrooms in the hibiscus pot this morning and the begonia is on its last legs - not sure if she’ll make it.  We also have tomatoes growing on one of the plants now!  But many lower leaves are turning yellow.  I’m hoping this is just because of a lack of nutrients because they bushes are getting tall and not because of a fungus or lack of nitrogen in the soil.  It looks like I have some investigating to do this weekend.

Posted 1 year ago

Friday morning pics

Posted 1 year ago

First squirrel attack of the season?

AHH!  I came home a few weeks ago to find the mint completely out of its planter and lying on it’s side.  Luckily I swooped in and saved the crazy B.  Then, last week, I came home from work and the bush gone!  Have the squirrels reached a higher level of consciousness?  Are they unleashing some new psychological warfare?  Somehow, the bush ended up downstairs on our neighbors deck:

Rescue mission is in the initial planning stages - all suggestions welcomed.

Posted 1 year ago

A few weeks ago when I was back in NJ I read an article in the Coaster, the podunkiest of the podunk local papers.  There was a small blurb about the City of Asbury Park building above ground planters for community use on a plot of land near City Hall and the Transportation Center.

On a small plot of land next to the NJ Transit tracks we found more than 10 raised planters.  I can’t find the article anywhere online so I don’t know who can use the plots, who maintains them, etc.  

Anyway, it’s a good idea to take a strip of green lawn and put it to productive use!

Posted 1 year ago

YourMomsNegligentBlogger is back!

A solid two weeks has gone by since my last post and unfortunately it looks like I’m back to my negligent blogging days of yore.  Not all of this is my fault!  One new logic board, a few panic attacks and seven days later, my MacBook Air is in tip top shape again and ready to blog like a mofo (a very special thank you to Apple for honoring my 1-year warranty even though I was 45 days over).  Lucky for the garden, I’ve been as attentive as ever and with Dom acting as co-Papi of the jardin our little babies are growing like wild.

Part of this has been a stroke of good luck.  Somehow our handy-dandy hose hook up from the bathroom to the roof has gone missing.  The hose is gone and the metal attachment/quick release to the bathroom sink spout is MIA (and I’m not talking about militant Sri Lankan hip-hop poseurs).  So without a reliable watering source we can take all of the rain we can get.  Hopefully this weekend Dom or I can secure a car to go to Home Depot again to pick up the supplies for a new watering system.  

Without this hose I’ve been putting my pack animal instincts to good use.  But even a llama tires of bringing a 10 quart bucket up a flight of stairs and thru a rabbit hole sized door 8 - 10 times a morning so I really really really am appreciating all of the rain.  Did I mention the rain has been really convenient?  Despite my perma-sour mood, I really enjoy this rain.

So what has happened in the past 2 weeks?  As the last post teased, Dom and I went to Home Depot.  We were a little loopy, she after a 12 hour night shift at the hospital, me after a night of boozing (evidence below):

The cart and bucket above barely scratch the surface of all of the crap we got.  The bags pictured are organic potting soil and organic garden soil for the edible pots and planters and non-organic potting soil for flowers and non-edibles.  We couldn’t really figure out the difference between potting soil and gardening soil so we got both (any comments teaching us the difference will be greatly appreciated).  

We also got mulch.  The mulch was necessary this year.  The past two years had left the large planter for veggies filled with tiny weeds and plants that will take water and nutrients away from our intentional plantings.  Before Dom used her hoe-ing skills the planter was a mess:

But Dom used all the hoe-ing she had in her and cleaned out the suckers.  She left our box high and dry and ready to fertilize!  We mixed the organic potting soil with the existing soil to get a good mix of old nutrient rich soil with new nutrient rich soil.

Yay! Ready to plant!  What type of plants did we decide to buy?  There was a lot of indecision at Home Depot but we knew there were a few things we absolutely needed in a garden:

tomatoes

basil

pest & squirrel defenses

Other than that we were just shooting in the dark.  Since we both love tomatoes we decided on 4 plants - one cherry, two Roma and one super bougie HEIRLOOM.  We got marigolds because we both had heard they keep pests away and we decided to put two basil plants in the planter with the tomatoes and two in a pot by themselves.  Peppers sounded good so we got one Slavic pepper plant (huh?) and a lemon cucumber plant (double huh?).  Next, we placed them on top of the soil to determine the correct spacing:

After some feng shui marigold placement differences of opinion bewtween Dom and I we committed to transplanting the veggies, herbs and marigolds.  The result was stunning:

Wow what a garden!  So far so good - we haven’t had any major disasters yet and the rain keeps coming down.  Stay tuned for another post soon - if there isn’t one about the importance of mulching and proper drainage in the next few days you’ll know a zombie has eaten my face.  If that’s the case Dom will have to take over blogging duties.  Until then feel free to be green with envy:

Posted 1 year ago

The gardening begins!

Posted 1 year ago

Time for some weeding….

We have approximately 3 ft X 1 Dominique length of gardening space on the roof for Saturday’s vegetable planting.  At least 2 types of tomatoes, 2 types of peppers and a ton of basil will go in the planter.  We are also thinking of getting another stand alone planter for more space.  Stay tuned to see which vegetables make the cut.

Posted 1 year ago

cynicalidealism:

Urban gardening rocks!

#Egypt #Cairo

This work was done by researchers of the Arid Lands Agricultural services and Research Centre of Ain Shams University. They currently comprise Shagara’s agricultural team.

Posted 1 year ago

Sun’s out! Temperature’s rising! I’m a wreck!

Hipster-esque Instagram photos from Brooklyn in 3…2…1…

It is definitely spring.  The sleepless nights of coughing and sneezing, my bedroom temperature hovering around 85 degrees - both signs that it’s time to start planting!  As any seasoned urban (or non-urban) gardener knows, planning while it’s still cool out is essential for a successful garden.  

I consulted Cornell’s frost map to see when the estimated last frost in the city would be and then worked backwards to prepare to plant for mid to late April:

Great.  This gave us about 3-5 weekends to remove all of the old cracked, plastic planters, remove all of the bad potting soil that was infected by one rogue mint bush, and sweep up all of the old dead branches and leaves.  

We also needed to remove the old compost (that didn’t quite compost), buy new flowers and prepare the soil in the large planter for vegetables.  Thankfully, Dominique offered her services one of the weekends and helped to chuck the soil.  

Why the plastic bags?  I know it may seem sacrilegious to some people (many apologies about the plastic - the mild winter resulted in one too many potato sack races and we ran out of local, organic, conflict free, burlap sacks) but the plastic was the best way to transport 5 large planters filled with packed, damp soil.  The Grand Army Plaza farmer’s market is only a few blocks away and they accept old food, soil and leaves as long as it’s bagged:

http://www.grownyc.org/compost

I quickly commandeered our neighbors laundry cart and shoved as many potting soil packed plastic bags into it.  I moved as quickly as possible up to the park to drop off the bags and returned the cart before they could notice.  I had to make the trips over three weekends, mostly because I’m lazy, partly because it’s too hard to push the cart up the hill.  The last two weekends I used their busted-ass red Little Tikes wagon:

I got the occasional nod and smile from locavores as I made my way through the market.  ”Red wagon?  That’s weird.  Oh, wait - he’s got soil AND he’s moving towards the compost.  Oh man, that’s sweet”.  I’m assuming this is what went through the Park Slopian minds as I dodged babies the size of dogs and dogs the size of babies (both in strollers).  I dropped off my brown gold (or dropping the kids off at school…hehe) and fought my way through the crowd to get the F out of there.  Unfortunately for me, my 80’s inspired porn star sunglasses, 5 o’clock shadow and sweat stained baseball cap made me look like a big ole pedo-bear.  Had I brought along a pack of puppies and candy, the look would have been complete.  I was the pied piper of creepy, dodging parents evil side eyes from all around so I bolted out of there.

A drastic haircut and many shaves later, the garden began to take place.  The weather (notwithstanding the past two days chilly rain) has been unseasonably warm so I picked up basil, parsley and mint.  I also bought enough flowers for all of the hanging pots on the fence plus a new wooden planter.

Luckily we didn’t plant any veggies, partially because of a nasty hangover on Saturday but mostly because Dom wasn’t around to help curate the planting collection for Summer 2012.  This week won’t have any plantings (home for the weekend) but hopefully the next weekend we will get started!  Until then, some photos of what’s put together so far:

Day shot:

Night shot, one week later: