Tag Archive: urban gardening

State of the Garden

There was one week with highs below freezing and nights in the teens fahrenheit, but other than that this winter in my garden has been perfect weather for greens and root vegetables.

Tyrone came for a quarterly check for various vermin (yes, I know that rats and termites are no less divine than anything else, but it’s much easier to think that of them when they are not in your dwelling place). I followed him out into the garden. He said that last time I gave him some carrots that he ate in the truck.

I found a couple of good carrots and enough turnips and kale for both of us. It is time to eat up the vegetables that wintered over to make way for new planting.

Peace and light, E — Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

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State of the Garden (And Anecdotal Evidence of Extreme Weather Occurrences Due to Global Climate Change)

Scheduled to arrive some time tomorrow is one of those impossible to forecast until it is happening because how fast the storm travels and a variance in its track of even 50-100 miles north or south, or east or west can make the difference between just a bit of rain, a lot of rain with a little snow, and a little rain with a lot of snow, or perhaps the dreaded wintry mix.  What I would do for the garden would be different for the various scenarios.  The best for continuing to thrive would be a 2-4 inches of snow that didn’t entirely melt when it hits 50F on Saturday and acts as a blanket when it is forecast to get below 20F.  I harvested the tenderest of the greens and the last handfuls of unripe tomatoes (they need to be cooked and spiced–it’s way past the date they should have been able to grow).  I left the hardier greens and the root vegetables.  I will be watching for the true hard freeze right before which I will need to harvest everything.  The extreme weather occurrence is not, however, the coming storm, but the fact that I still have this much growing without a cold frame in the middle of January.

garden 1a garden 1b garden 1c garden 1d garden 1e garden 1f garden 1g

turnips, arugula, grape tomatoes, chard, snowpea shoots, kale, roses, assorted lettuce, cilantro, carrots [not shown, but also growing:  spinach, green garlic, mint, parsley]

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State of the Garden (First Weekend After the Fall Equinox)

I pulled no longer productive summer plants and planted lettuce, spinach, chard, and arugula. The birds have been eating my seeds, so I got seedlings at Eastern Market yesterday morning.  I have planted some more seeds, but wanted back up.  The grape tomato is still prolific, alone among the tomatoes.  The cucumbers are completely past, making room for chard and turnips.  It is time to make the last batches of pesto with the basil and parsley.  Another blossom has come and not quite gone on the night-blooming cereus.

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Today’s Cucumber

Every day, it seems, another cucumber (though this shall pass soon enough).  And baby carrots–first new carrots of the season.  I asked friends and neighbors who were at the house this morning whether they would like a cucumber.  As fellow gardeners who are also members of a CSA, they denied with almost a shudder.  It is evidently a good year for cucumbers not just in my garden.

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Excellent Blog on Community Gardening in DC

I was just led to this blog entry on community gardening in DC  from the DC Urban Gardeners‘ list serve’s daily digest.  The blog entry was originally posted last spring, but still has helpful information, and the service provided by the blogger looks interesting too.

If you have been thinking about getting into a garden, now may be a better time to get on a waiting list than the start of the growing season.  Now is the time that novices have realized that they don’t take care of their plots, and they are better off supporting the local farmers’ markets.  If you cannot get into a garden, why not be the fantastic neighbor that starts a new garden?

In the interest of full disclosure, after a few years at the garden nearest to my house, I decided to restructure my tiny backyard to add three 3’X3′ beds.  This gave me as much space as I had in the community garden.  I would love to have both spaces or more, but since there was a long waiting list at the garden, I ceded my space.  Currently most productive in my garden:  cucumbers, hot peppers, and all sorts of herbs.  Tomatoes aren’t doing too well, but I’ve gotten a few eggplants and my first big butternut squash.  Yum!

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Afternoon Walk

After eating homemade popsicles.  This week’s variation:  lemon, lime, with white nectarine.  The liquid was an chilled tisane with herbs from the garden; the sweetener, local honey.  The farmers at the market were packing to go home.  Tomatoes and peaches only $1 a pound.  Tonight–cucumber and tomato salad with the second cucumber of the year from my own garden.  The salad to accompany whole wheat pasta tossed with garden greens, herb pesto (basil, parsley, arugula; garlic in the pesto from a friend’s garden), and white beans.  Later in the week when it gets cooler, slow-cooked tomato sauce and white peaches poached in wine (perhaps turned into popsicles).

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State of the Garden

How exciting to see not only what is ready to eat now — the greens and herbs and strawberries — but the promise of what will come throughout the summer, so long as my dedicated attentions continue; the weather is cooperative; and the bugs, birds, and squirrels and I can negotiate my getting a decent share of what ripens.  The fairy rose in the last photo was a gift from a student who was an enthusiastic participant in my gentle/therapeutic class who left his body last year.  Sweet to see the rose still thriving.

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State of the Garden

The grapes are starting to bunch, and for the first time, the kiwi is covered with buds.  Two of the tomato plants have their first flowers.  Snow peas are climbing up the trellises.  Carrots, spring onions, radishes, and beans are sprouting.  There are plenty of cool weather greens and herbs for eating already.  The red roses are blooming.  I pray for sufficient rain.

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