We'll start this mid-June (OMFG how did it get to mid June already???) Friday farming from the kitchen porch.
I have a handful of plastic planters hanging on. They're damaged from 2010's hail storm, but still decent enough to not recycle yet. If I were giving advice to beginning gardeners, I'd tell them to not cheap-out on pots. You'll end up replacing the plastic ones. Save up and buy ceramic or something more durable.
These three pots sport some trailing lobelia and pansies.
To the left of the pots, from left to right, iris (with black-eyed-susan behind it), spirea, Anabelle hydrangea, sedum, daylilly, cranberry bush and iris. The little thing with blue leaves is more lobelia.
I'm really loving these alliums! They're like bright purple fireworks.
Driveway bed, with only half of the soil pep in.
It's a poppy!
Harlow, wondering why she can't help me.
Herb garden; from left to right: cilantro, oregano, rosemary, thyme (?), chives, mint. Garlic behind, and behind the garlic is the basil. What, you don't see any basil growing? Me either... (problem).
MMM mint, you will be in a Friday night mojito.
Cilantro, for fajitas.
Raspberry sticks. They're only about a foot tall. I wonder if we'll have blossoms and berries?
Crysanthemum, with banana peppers in the pots.
Larkspur, and a zinnia.
Irises, allium, with spirea in the background.
I've had my first bits of spinach in a salad! I snapped a bunch of leaves on Tuesday night and made a dinner salad of entirely home-grown greens. MM!
Bell pepper, with co-planted chives.
You might have noticed a few sprouts beneath the tulip leaves. I planted sweet peas. By the time the tulip leaves need to be trimmed back, the sweet peas will be able to trellis up and fill in the spot.
Autumn joy sedum.
Autumn joy sedum in profile.
From another angle. I don't think I'll get blooms from the irises in this bed, but the leaves are pretty cool too!
Around on the back porch, more flowers in pots.
The lilly has flower buds on it. Pretty cool, huh?
Peeps... I'm growing a clematis. It's actually, like no-shit, growing. Up a trellis and everything! There are also sweet peas at the bottom of the trellis to grow up too.
The lilac bush is almost ready to bloom!
Annnddd... now for the bad news. The gophers ate my lettuce down to the nub on Monday. My last attempt to gopher-proof is to add burlap around the bottom of the "gopher fence". The burlap is too small for the vermnits to get through, but it unfortunately also shades the plants. Welp, I guess we'll see what works.
Now's probably a good time to mention that DJ bought a new pellet gun. It's gopher hunting season at our house.
The compost pile seems to be a good place to establish plants. Like this one... which I didn't want. I'm not sure what it is; a squash of some kind?
The decimated lettuce.
More lettuce, the stuff I started in-ground isn't exactly thriving. If the gopher factor were removed, I'd say it's worth my time to start my lettuce inside in the spring.
The carrots seem to be doing okay.
A few spinach leaves look almost ready to be consumed.
All of the onions seem to be doing really well too.
Squash leaves! This is a zucchini.
And a winter squash.
I planted marigold seeds between the squashes, hoping they'll bloom about the same time as the squash. We'll see how that shakes out. The blooming flowers will attract bees, who will help polinate the squash and tomatoes.
Baby onions, also known as shallots.
Most of the potatoes are up. Once the foliage is about a foot out of the ground I'll "hill them up." New potatoes grow along the vine between the seed potato and the foliage, so if you don't keep adding dirt the new potatoes start poking through. If they're exposed to sunlight, the potato will turn green, and indicator that some chemical reaction has happened the result of which causes a toxic reaction in the human body if the potato is ingested. Also: I need to weed the potato patch.
Spaghetti squash. I'm super excited about these. The "meat" they produce is a great alternative to the carbs in actual spaghetti noodles, and the squashes "keep" for 6 months. I'll need to thin these to three plants/ hill once they starts have actual leaves.
And finally, the peas- which seem to have survived gopher-chewing.
You know what's a mystery? Where the heck is the asparagus? Admittedly we piled a bunch more dirt on the corms last fall, but still. Huh.
What have I learned so far for farming in 2011? I like the "square foot gardening" method, as it helps me organize my plants into distinct blocks. I'm not sure how I'll feel about tripping over the string once the plants are up though.
I need a grow-light if I'm going to start plants inside.
I'm going to try fall-seeding a few things; mostly herbs, since the cilantro seemed to rally through the winter.
Bushes are okay. I like a perennial garden, but it's okay to plant a bush and let it do most of the work for you.
What's on tap for the weekend? burying the last of the sprinkler hose, and soil-pepping the last bed. Maybe trying to plant one more go of basil. Cleaning out the freezer in preparation of all of the food about to be stocked into it (a girl can dream, right?)