Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Change the World Wednesday - Garden Green

This week's edition of Change the World Wednesday hosted by Reduce Footprints is focused on your garden.

This week, please share information on planting anedible garden. Tell us what you grow and share any tips you've learned. We'd like to know if you use containers, raised beds, etc. and how you grow successfully without chemicals. Tell us what has worked and what hasn't.

Or ...

If you grow food but not in an Eco-friendly way, please make at least one "green" change. For example, switch to organic fertilizers. Investigate which plants repel bugs and insects and use them instead of pesticides. Find out which plants, in your area, require the least amount of water ... or investigate ways to water efficiently. And, of course, we want to know all about it so ... write a post.

Or ...

If you don't grow food, please do so. Try a container of herbs or plant some onions. Swiss Chard and Kale are nutritious powerhouses and make a lovely addition to gardens. Even if you don't have much space, try growing one thing. And yep ... we want to hear all about your adventure as well.

I'm happy to report that this year I am making my first effort at actually growing something edible. I'm not sure how it's going to turn out, but I'm making an effort.

A couple of months ago I bought some lettuce and spinach seeds. I planted them using organic top soil and in cardboard egg cartons that I saved.  I had several seeds germinate and start to grow...but think I put too many in each little hole and they got crowded.   Then I was so busy I didn't get around to switching them to larger containers until this past weekend.   All containers are still inside because the plants are so small I'm worried about damage with hard rain and frost.   I'm worried this won't work this year but I'm happy I tried.  Plus, I could still be surprised.   I really hope the lettuce grows though since I eat a salad roughly 3 days a week for lunch.  This would be a huge cost saver for us in the long run.

Earth day weekend Lowe's was selling tomato plants 2 for $1.  I had the husband pick up 4 plants while he was at the store.  I finally planted those into their own containers this past weekend too. Since these are already plants I have a better hope of these making it.  These are currently outside.   I like tomato's but rarely eat them. However you want to know why I want to grow them? I'm hoping I get a good enough crop that I can freeze almost all of them (whatever the husband doesn't eat) and we can use them for tomato sauce and diced tomatoes all winter long.

I also have one pepper plant that was given to us. I don't eat peppers but the husband will sometimes use them to cook with.

As mentioned..I'm using an organic soil that I bought.  It's more expensive but I felt better using it since I was planning to eat the vegetables grown in the soil.   I also mentioned containers.  While I do live in a house with a big enough yard for a vegetable garden, I decided to use containers for now.   I'm not always the best at remembering I need to water plants outside.  So this is a test to see how well I do growing vegetables. If I do remember to take care of them, I'll work on creating a vegetable garden in the yard somewhere this fall.

The other reason I wanted to use containers for now is because our subdivision backs up to a state park.  You know what this means, deer.   We have a lot of deer.  It's not uncommon to see deer hanging out in our backyard (even though we are in the middle of the subdivision and not the closest to the park).  My hope is that by having the items in containers on our deck, we won't have to worry about the deer or rabbits eating the vegetables.  

One plant that I know, ok, am about 85% positive will do well, this year is my blackberry bush.  I planted it last year and actually got two fruits from it.  This year it looks to be coming back nice and strong so I hope to get a lot more.  I know it can take several years to get fruit from a newly planted bush so I don't know what to expect.  However, I think because I was green when I planted this one I might get more than most 2nd year plants.  How exactly was I green?  Instead of buying a blackberry bush, I took 2 clippings from my sister. What's more green than that? The only carbon footprint in getting these clippings was the gas to drive them to my house and even that can't all be on my shoulder since her husband dropped them off on his way to his parents house.  I didn't do anything special to the soil when I planted this one. I basically planted it next to the fence that is around our pool.  I thought about using some of the organic soil I bought around it, but it's coming back so well I don't want to mess with it.  I also think that because I used clippings and didn't buy the plant new, that's why I did get a couple pieces of fruit last year and why I hope to get more this year.

1 comment:

  1. Oooh, what fun! I hope it all turns out well for you. Will the deer eat your blackberries? I know that it's hard to keep a garden with critters around but ohhh ... what a joy to be able to see deer in your yard. I would love that! :-) I'm growing spinach for the first time this year ... and keeping my fingers crossed. I've read that they like cooler weather and we're staying quite cool this year so ... I'm keeping my fingers crossed! I hope you'll do an update, occasionally, on your garden and how it does!