Saturday, June 9, 2012

Our Garden Returns: In Pots. And More Pots. And More...

We are moving. We are buying a HOUSE!  We are going to have a GARDEN! No, wait: a farm! An orchard!  Okay, I am exaggerating (or being wildly optimistic). But the key point is that because we are moving mid-summer, I knew it would be a disaster to start a garden at our current apartment and then pull it out for the move.  So, with little research, we decided to a) start from seeds and b) plant in pots.  We relied heavily on advice from on our fabulous friends now living in Brooklyn, advice from Amy Pennington on the Food 52 blog and the educational (and patient!) staff at Russell's Garden Center in Wayland.  We planted the seeds and to our greatest delight, those little things grew!  In those early cool days of spring (remember those?) my sons checked the weather reports to see if the night temperature was going to drop below 50.  Then I dragged the pots in. And out! Next year: I am definitely building cold frames to skip this step.  That being said, I still can't believe how much more rewarding (and cheaper) it is to start from seeds.  Then, we slowly transferred our arugula, carrots, peas, mesclun, lacinto kale, green beans and pole beans to pots.  (The folks at Russells though the beginning of May was too late to start from seed for the tomatoes, cucumbers and strawberries so we used seedlings.)  They joined last year's blueberry bush and our containers of herbs.  Between the days of rain and the days of heat, I am still in a wide learning curve. For example, I just read about putting gravel at the bottom of pots to help with drainage (which may explain why they are soaked!).  Refusing to spend any more money on my plants, I am trying to use our tomato cages and poles from previous years on the pots.  I am continuing to insist on a no-maintenance and organic garden our plant babies are just hanging out in Coast Of Maine Organic Potting Soil.  My main problem so far (besides the endless rain) is that I continue to underestimate the amount of soil, number of pots and size of the pots I will need for my burgeoning cucumbers and tomatoes.  And because this is a one year experiment, I am hesitant to spend too much money on the pots.  Plastic is cheaper, but those glorious cobalt glazed pots would be far more beautiful on the new deck.  So the good news: I will have about 30 plastic pots to keep my movers busy and to use in DIY-creative ways by next summer or to donate to one reader.  Until then, let the sun shine in.

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