Monday, April 12, 2010

Getting Dirty

Operation "let's get this garden started" has been completed, with a sigh of relief and accomplishment. My least favorite part of gardening is the dirty part - schlepping heavy bags of soil, excavation of last year's dead roots, deciding which size pots are best for which plants, anxiety over whether I'm providing enough drainage and compost, and physically doling out the dirt - so I'm always glad when this onerous hurdle has been passed.

My interest in gardening began two years ago, as a natural next step following my interest in local eating. In my ideal world, I would turn our yard into a cornucopia of produce with a zero mile footprint, but in reality I stay within the limits of my knowledge and laziness by creating a simple container garden, mostly from already-started young plants bought at the farmers market. Now that almost everything is potted, all the garden asks is a daily watering or two, and in return I will (hopefully) be blessed with fresh herbs, tomatoes, and greens for fun summer cooking.

Here's what I planted this weekend:

Purple sage
Creeping rosemary
Lemon thyme
Anise hysspop (Licorice mint)
Bloomsdale spinach
Swiss Chard
Mesclun salad mix

I will also plant cherry tomatoes and peppers in a month or so once it's warm enough. And some pretty flowers, to be determined.

What are you growing this season? Can you recommend any gardening blogs or websites that can help demystify the confusing (to me) field of horticulture?


  1. Oh how I wish I had outdoor space to grow some plants. Sounds great to have some fresh herbs and leaves. Lucky you! Good luck with it all :)

  2. ooh lovely - that looks like a very impressive array of pots there. I can't wait to try and grow some stuff this year finally having some outdoor space again (we need to wait for our terrace to be cleaned up first and then I'll get going).

    blogs - you grow girl ( is the only gardening blog I've come across that I read much. I have to admit to only really admiring the pretty pictures and not getting into the content so much, as it hasn't really been too relevant with nothing growing, but might be worth checking out.

  3. oh lucky! I still haven't received our seeds yet (but then, it isn't really warm enough to plant here in NS yet).

    I really liked "life on the balcony" for tips and resources on how to grow in containers :)

    look forward to watching your garden grow!

  4. cool! way ahead of me. we cleared out a plot this weekend. i need to do some research big time for What To Do Next. :)

  5. I am the last person you would ever want to ask for advice. I basically stick things in dirt and water sporadically and hope that they survive. Miraculously, many do!

    I need to do my spring clean up of my balcony garden. Soon.

  6. Good Job! I'm still working on getting the vegetable garden going. I've done the flowers in the front, but the garden from the back is still looking up at me and feeling neglected...

  7. Ohh, the dirt and weed pulling and leaf clearing is my favorite part! I love getting right in there and getting messy :)
    I've got dill, rosemary, basil, oregano, lemon balm, chives, thyme, green onions, 3 types of tomatoes, pickling cucumbers, zucchini, peppers, rainbow chard, spinach, kale and collard greens (which are my faaaavorite - they're completely a new vegetable when grown in your garden compared to the grocery store!). And my boyfriend's doing corn, beets, carrots, potatoes, garlic, asparagus, grapes, onions and melons at his place - so I think we're pretty set between the two of us! :)

  8. i am so going to show this to joe. he's our inhouse gardener. we have a pretty big deck in our new apartment, but it needs some work before we can use it. the landlord said he'd have it done in a couple of weeks. it's perfect for a garden because it gets an ample amount of sunlight and it rains a fair amount in northern california. joe wants to have a potted herb garden out there and some tomatoes and maybe some greens as well. i think i'd like to add some oregano too because the dried stuff just CANNOT compare. ooh, and tarragon. i HEART tarragon!

  9. I already have chives and parsley coming up from last year. I'm going to try my hand at cilantro this year. Its my very favorite herb and so hard to find fresh at the grocer. You've got a nice little garden started.

  10. Miz.November - ah I forgot about cilantro - I might add that to the repertoire, since it's so great for making salsa, guac, and tacos in the summertime. thanks!

    Celia - yay, you'll love having fresh herbs to cook with. i don't think i've ever tasted fresh tarragon but i should try it.

    Melina - in that case, since getting messy is your favorite part, wanna come over and transform my disgusting yard? and yeah, you are pretty much set there with that looong list of vegetables! our super had planted grape vines in the ground but i'm pretty sure the dogs killed them a long time ago.

    Jamie - I saw! looked like a nice sized sunny plot you got started there. Good luck!

    Rachel - that's all i do too, stick things in dirt and hope for the best!

    Lindsay - well, getting flowers planted is nothing to sneeze at.

    LK and EcoYogini - thanks for the gardening blog suggestions!

    Marie - if you have a sunny windowsill, you could try growing a few small pots of herbs inside.

  11. heyy! so great--it's so cool to eat what you grow and those pots are going to be beautifully overflowing in a month! my two go-to blogs for gardening are: "66 square feet" and "life in sugar hollow".

  12. Well done :)

    We've had fun experimenting in our borrowed garden. It is amazing how much some plants can take. Some things are growing back at the moment that I was convinced wouldn't have made it through the winter (of my neglect...)

    I'm not the gardener, so I have no blogs to recommend. The boy is the one much more seriously into growing, and he was given giant garden bible books as a present, which we use as a resource. But we will need to up our game when we one day have a patch of dirt to call our very own.