Monday, April 21, 2014

Day One at the Allotment

The City has cut back about twenty feet of forest and put in a paved runway along the backsides of the Big Allotment on the northeast corner where my garden is located - you can see it if you look closely - it's behind my compost bin and table (barely visible is the chicken wire fence separating me from them - my Virginia Creeper and Kiwi Vine will provide an organic wall of leaves once summer is in full force). I really like that we have more sun and I like that there are people enjoying the park, but one guy running by yelled so loud and abruptly as he went by that I almost jumped out of my skin? I'd been thinking and was in 'creative' mode. It took me right out of where I'd been. Betty Edwards explains in her drawing books about how the right side of our brain is a delicate place of being - someone dropping a pencil can scare the life out of you and break the spell.

I think I am going to bring some canvas to put at the back of the little tool hut so I have some privacy when I need it and I'll wear headphones and listen to my French Lessons maybe. I'm more than happy to talk to people ... but loud people who aren't aware many of us come here to daydream and meditate are jarring to share space with ... it takes all kinds though - I know. I used it as a reminder that I was meant to take note and bringing canvas for privacy (and earphones to protect my head space) YA!
My plot begins on the far side of the purple umbrella (see the hut:) the umbrella is the fellow's in the garden next to me - my garden runs the length of the the green chicken wire fence that you can see down the path along the right side.
From a distance all looks well but believe me the garden is one big mess. I know this because a little girl who was walking by told me so. She asked if I had to get it all done by the end of the day and when I said I didn't have to she asked if I would like her to come by tomorrow to help me out. Her mother had earphones on and wasn't registering what she was saying to me as she'd stopped to allow the little girl to talk. It was pretty funny. I just laughed and asked her if she liked gardening. I wonder if she thought I have to clean up the entire allotment.

A set of older jogging women (my age;) stopped at one point as well and said, 'we wondered when 'you' were going to show up. At first I thought they meant me but I decided not to take it personally and gathered they meant 'the gardeners' in general. It's not always about me - right? They said they would stop throughout the season to see how I was doing ... Awww - so nice!

I was sorely tempted to tell the little girl she was more than welcome to come help me all summer long if she really wanted to ... now I remember something I want to remember and it is that I want to enjoy gardening - not feel as though I need to make it look a certain way nor win the approval of others.

This year, I come armed with solutions and good intentions.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Week Three

I feel as though most of the tomatoes could go into the garden already - if the weather was good. The basil looks like it's big enough, too. The last tray of tomatoes came from the group that came after the first ones broke the surface. I am wondering if they will ever be viable and healthy. Time will tell. The first ones sure are looking good. Today I clipped the 4th stem off many of them. This is week three and they are exhibiting grown of 4 week old plants (that's when the 4th leaves normally sprout).

Monday, April 7, 2014

Tomatoes & Basil

There are three trays of healthy, two week old, tomato seedlings now growing under lights this year (32 x 3 = 96). All have been transplanted from their original small cells with 4 or more seeds in each (see below) and put into these individual deep cells. I will definitely be giving well over half of them away to friends and gardeners at the allotment! I am waiting now for the 4th leaf to emerge so I can clip it and hopefully grow bushier plants. See this post.

two more trays of tomatoes waiting for 4th leaves to grow

Garden Pearl Tomato Plant

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Sweet Basil Babies are Up

two weeks

Voila - these were planted just a week ago
sweet basil

 a couple of days later

look really closely in the cup on the foreground right
This after only 2 days. They went into damp soil Sunday evening. It's Tuesday evening now. WOW!

Monday, March 24, 2014

2nd Seeds Planted Today

I planted 22 varieties of Indeterminate tomatoes this year.
 tomatillo, onions & leeks, kale, fennel, eggplant and chard were planted in the other cells

see list below

Indeterminate Tomatoes


Indeterminate Tomatoes
St. Pierre
Super Sweet (Hybrid)
Sweet Pea
Green Zebra
Gary Isben Gold
Black Krim
Black Prince
Costolutuo Fiorentino
Huge Plum
Red Fig
Wapsipinicon Peach
OSU Blue

Green Tomatillo

Red Russian


Wala Wala
Red Cipollin

Ruby Red Chard

Florence Fennel 

Morden Midget Eggplant

Sunday, March 23, 2014

1st Seeds Planted Today

I am about a month behind this year. Life happens. This is where I was about this time last year ... I know that once I get my seedlings in the ground they will take off quickly so I plan to be vigilant with watering and fertilizing and I will talk to them and brush them with my fingertips and put music and a fan on while I'm away. I have high hopes for this year's crop.

I will plant as many as I can today and tomorrow. In about a week from now things will be hopping I hope.

Very Warm Water + Sterile Potting Soil                         Break up the lumps to make sure soil is evenly dampened.

Spooning the soil into the trays keeps it under control.

I scooped it out using my hands for the next tray and things got a bit messy (but hey it went a whole lot faster so I think it was totally worth it)! I am really glad that I organized my seeds last month because it means I can dive right in planting and writing up markers as I go along. This is where the daydreaming begins. Once the seeds are planted I'll put the tops on the trays and the trays on the top of the florescent light set up so there's warmth for them to germinate.

In about a week I expect a little action. Maybe a few leaves breaking through the soil.

All in Order and Ready to Go

Ikea Half Straw Labels

Gone to a Dark Place
Planted Today 
Tiny Tim
Early Annie
Silvery Fir
Roma Bush
Garden Pearl
Elberta Peach

San Marzano
Principe Borghese
Red Fig
Amish Paste

California Wonder
Sweet Chocolate

Mexican Pepper
Long Red Cayenne
Early Jalapeno
Sweet Genovese
Trio (lemon, cinnamon, purple)