Monday, July 25, 2011

A little gardening adventure

So a few years ago, a couple of neighbors decided to build a community garden.  They asked the builder that owned the lots if he cared and the answer was no - build a garden and if the lot sells -well then no more garden.  The neighbors applied for a city grant - which allowed them to hire a master gardener to help with the layout of the garden.  We soon got involved.  Each year we add a bit more to the garden.  And it is a lot of fun for the kids to run down and pick food out of the garden and eat it.  But I still wanted my own for some reason.  And so last year I made a straw bale garden. Haven't heard of that before?  Well basically you just use straw bales instead of garden beds.  You literally just plant the seeds in the straw and out they pop.  Some use a lot of dirt on top of the straw to add nutrients.  And some say you don't have to.  But you do need to do is water the crud out of it as straw obviously doesn't hold a lot of water.  So I had 2 straw bales.  I planted a couple of peppers, a tomato plant, squash, and cantaloupe.  And the results - 2 kabocha squashes.  And that wasn't even the "plant" I put it!  It was supposed to be butternut.  So this year, the husband built me 2 boxes.  We put the straw from last year's garden in it, some dirt, and some organic mulch (aka -cow manure) in it.  Put a few plants in there.  And this is the result.

The dang things are growing like there is no tomorrow.  The plant on the left - that is one single tomato plant.  It has a couple hundred tomatoes on it.  And the giant thing taking over the yard.  One squash plant. I keep having to unwind it from the tomato plants.  It has about 10 squash on it so far.  And the pots on the far right.  One is an eggplant - but I am not sure if it will grow.  It was next to the giant tomato plant and I had to move it to give it a chance.  And the other pot?  Well it is a little basil plant.  We bought basil from the store - one of those "living herbs" where it still has the roots attached.  I ate the basil and thought I would see if it would grow if planted.  And it did.  Pretty neat way to recycle!  And hidden in all of this is a pepper plant, a bunch of beets, and a cantaloupe.

One giant tomato plant - no match for the little cage.

The squash plant that is taking over the yard.

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