What to grow this season?

This little post over at one of my favorite Green Blogs, Re-Nest, is what got me excited about the prospect of planting some cold resistant veggies right now in my Community Garden! It’s too cold yet (low 50’s) to get most herbs and veggies in the ground, but there are some that really love the cold Wisconsin soil. So I got right to prepping my little 4×8 raised bed with some “Black Gold” (aka compost) to nourish the soil before I start direct seeding hopefully some time this weekend. The familia and I have been talking about what we should grow this year and here are the contenders…

Hubby would like artichokes, Anaheim peppers and onions. Our cutie would like brussel sprouts and my picks are, spinach, radishes, romain lettuce and garlic.

I’m planning on direct seeding for the first time and I could definitely use some tips and tricks from anyone who’s tackled this before!

Here’s what I have coming in the mail from Territorial Seeds:

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Photos via Re-nest blog

Our Community Garden

My wonderful little neighborhood has created a beautiful Community Garden for the residents of Washington Heights!  I am beyond excited about this newest venture in my ‘hood and couldn’t wait to get started helping to make it happen.  We started with a neighborhood Garden Blitz a few weeks ago, where the hubby and I, and about 40 neighbors helped dig, shovel, haul soil, plant the community beds, build the raised beds, till soil and on and on and on!  There was much to do to prep this vacant lot for some serious gardening…and by the end of it we were covered, head to toe in dirt!

There was a huge effort on the part of the committee to make this happen.  The owner of the land, who recently tore down the existing house in November of 2009, agreed to allow the Neighborhood Association to create a community garden on the property.  In partnership with MUG, who I believe helped provide for some of the materials as well as with the help of many, many ambitious and garden-loving neighbors (and their little cuties) we were able to transform the lot into the beginnings of a beautifully planned Community Garden.

Residents paid $20 to purchase an 8X4 raised bed for one year and agreed to abide by a set of rules that include helping to maintain not only their own raised beds but the community beds as well.  An elaborate layout was created by one of the committee members that includes an arch and benches at the entryway of the garden, an herb garden, raspberry bushes along the length of the north end of the lot, a strawberry patch, 2 asparagus beds (which was my primary duty on Garden Blitz day), several rows of corn along the south end of the lot and compost bins along the westernmost part of the lot.  Oh, and I can’t forget the 24 raised beds that belong to all of us neighbors.  Here’s how it all went down.

Day one:  Garden Blitz

We started at about 8am and kept going until about noon!

Our first visit since the Garden Blitz

Two cuties discussing what to do next

The hubby.  He has good intentions of helping, but he’s chatting with his dad instead.

We planted:  Broccoli (lots), onions, Anaheim Peppers, Poblano Peppers, Kohlrabi,  Bush pickles

We’re also growing some things at home that includes:

a pretty elaborate herb garden, strawberries, Zebra tomatoes, black cherry tomatoes and sun gold tomatoes in my topsy turvy (a gift from our neighbor), and we already had plenty of raspberries.


Solana’s watering the asparagus bed that I helped to plant on the day of our Garden Blitz!

We have a rain barrel (shown) and access to the hydrant across the street, in case you’re wondering how we’re watering.

Now we just have to wait for the fruits of our labor!

Michelle Obama likes to Garden too!

Hey Lovelies,  sorry it’s been so long since I’ve written.  Been busy with lots of different projects this Spring.

We’ve had some really amazing weather, which meant that I was able to play in my garden a lot earlier this year!  I spent a whole weekend beautifying  my front garden and I am really happy with how it looks…and it’s not even Memorial Day yet!

I’ve only started on the main front Flower Beds, but I will eventually get to the back garden where all the fun happens …the fruits, veggies & herbs!  I’ll save that for another post but I thought you might enjoy seeing what our fabulous First Lady has done with the First Garden she’s started at her new place!

So, here’s the play by play on all that I did to make my little garden Spring ready:

1. First, I had to be sure I had all the supplies and tools I needed on hand before I got started.  There’s nothing worse than taking a trip, or two, or three (can you tell I’m speaking from experience) to the garden store because you forgot something of extreme importance, like paper garden bags, or the weeder to get rid of the HUNDREDS of dandelions that have invaded the front yard.  I made sure I had the following on hand:

  • Lots of really tall paper gardening bags
  • A hand weeder
  • My favorite gardening  tool of all time… the Martha Stewart wire hand rake (which is no longer available)
  • Plenty of my favorite black mulch…it HAS to be BLACK…any thing else is so NOT cool
  • Bags and bags of soil

2.  Second, I removed all the junk from the flower bed.  You will be amazed at how much garbage, dead leaves and other debris accumulates over just one winter!  I don’t always remove all the old mulch but this year I did, in order to replace it with a fresh layer…but I’ll get there in a sec.  Anyway, by the end of the day I had 3 huge yard bags full of junk from the front garden alone !

3.  Next, you’ll want to turn the soil ( I used a medium sized spade for this process), mix in some fresh soil and even it out with a rake.  Prior to mixing in soil, in a smaller strip of garden I have in the front next to the porch, I actually laid some weed blocker down (cutting open slits where the plants were already growing) because I had never done that before and last year the weeds were really outta control.  Then I added more soil on top of the weed blocker.

4.  The next thing to do is add the mulch in sections making sure each area is level.

5.  You’ll notice I didn’t plant anything new…it’s still too early here in Sconnie for that.  We actually just had frost this weekend and SNOW Up North!

Check out the results!