If It’s Raining – Read!

HERD ABOUT IT?

by Ana Grarian

 I’ve been up most of the night with a bout of the colly-wobbles. I’m not sure where it came from. Perhaps a stressful day, paired with drinking an entire glass of red wine. Perhaps it’s the wild garlic I have been munching on when walking the dog. (more on this tasty, edible, invasive plant, after more experimentation) Or maybe it’s just the bug that’s been going round.

Anyway, even though it is a beautiful sunny morning, with a promise of developing into an ungodly hot April afternoon, rather than gardening, I am hovering near the facilities. I have errands to run too, but they will have to wait.

I’m not sure how I came upon this site: City Farmer News : New Stories From ‘Urban Agriculture Notes’, but it looks like a real treasure. There are stories from all over the world. The photo of raised beds near a swimming pool, brings back memories of a visit to a home with a pool inside a greenhouse. The owners grew tomatoes year round.

My little urban farm is doing well this spring. Tomato seedlings are growing and have been transplanted once. I’m going to repot the largest ones today. I’m hankering to move them outside, ut we have a low temp of 30 degrees predicted for tonight (after yesterday’s high in the 80’s). My pepper plants are growing, but are still very small. I may have to buy some if they don’t pick up in the next month.

The pumpkins we had for Halloween (not cut into jack-o-lanterns) hardened like gourds over the winter. I knocked holes in one and filled it with dirt. I thought it would be cute to have the vines growing out of a pumpkin shell. The squirrel thought I was fixing him a feeder, and has been busy every morning digging out the seeds. I may still get pumpkins, as he eats some of the seeds and plants others around the garden.

My microgreens are sprouting in the window box in the bathroom, and I saw that my brussell sprouts have sprung. I’m still waiting on the kale and swiss chard. I made a big mistake with the chard. I dumped the pot to mix in some potting soil, when I realized the pot had already been planted. Hopefully those seeds will still grow.

I discovered that only one end of my garden has decent soil. The other end has just a shallow skim of good dirt, over heavy clay based soil. It looks like I need to build a raised bed so I can fill in heavily with compost.

I brought home two pallets which I will fill with dirt to build a vertical garden. I think I will try my bush beans in one. I really wanted pole beans – oops. I thought I’d try my cabbages in the other. I’m hoping that keeping them up off the ground will help with slugs.

I need to develop a good bed for carrots. This soil is too hard and shallow. I’m thinking of burying a cardboard box filled with sand and soil. The cardboard will eventually rot into the soil, and by then I should have the surrounding bed up to par.

Not for the faint of heart. I am trying to figure a way to gather urine for the compost bin in a way that will not gross out my housemates. Perhaps a port-a-potty in my own room. Urine is sterile when it leaves the body, and I understand if it is disposed of promptly does not have odor problems. The added nitrogen should help my compost digest quicker.

Well, I’m not getting any of these chores done, sitting at my computer – so – I will leave the safety of proximity to the “little room” and try to get some work done.