We're Getting all Technical Now
My first year in the community garden was all about getting to fit as much as I could into the space. Some of that included edging out my plot until I could no longer innocently say that was the natural size that I started with. When my father came at the start of the summer, he really showed me what a garden could hold.
I did well. It was a nice hot summer and I even got a few cantelope! I tried to grow garbanzo beans and although they grew well, I decided not to grow them again because of the space they took for the amount of yield. I was trying to be practical. I also tried to grow Oka and failed miserably. Sometimes I wonder why people sell things that are clearly not meant for the climate. It’s just plain mean. This year also began my love for artichoke – the plant, the flower and the fruit.
My second year introduced the aphids. My poor artichoke. They are hardy buggers though! A few billion ants don’t get them down! I also discovered that I suck ass at growing corn. I didn’t know much about soil composition but that season I felt increasingly guilty for not adding to the soil during the winter months. My plants seemed to suffer tremendously. I tried many of the same plants as the year before and things were either eaten by pests or taken over by weeds. It wasn’t my best year. I had started a new job and wasn’t able to get out to the garden as much as I should have. It showed.
My third year was just after the birth of Eliza. I had thought that I would have oodles of time to tend to the garden during my maternity leave. Unfortunately, her timing was a tad off. Had she been born a few months earlier, perhaps I could have really done something. As it was, I planted and watered as much as I could. Moving a block away from the gardens helped and the summer was spent there everyday. However, I learned how much Spring preparation is needed. You can’t really throw a few seeds in the ground while breastfeeding, cover them with your toe and hope everything turns out for the best. They turn out, just not in their best form and definitely not in a straight line.
This is my fourth year in the garden. I’m hoping for a repeat of my first year. I’ve added to the soil. I’m experimenting with composted biosolids (read a PDF info sheet here) and considering how I’ve done absolutely nothing in the past, it should really show a difference. I’m also planning everything out and planting things we eat and enjoy growing. No more unlikely or hopeless cases (cantelope, oka) and no more just for fun but space hogs (chick peas). I’m trying to use companion planting rules and I hope (fingers crossed) to plant according to the phases of the moon.