Getting started

June 12, 2011

I finally got around to planting a few things at the Ballard P-patch this weekend. I have to admit I’m a little intimidated trying to grow new veggies. I don’t want to spend a ton of money and then somehow kill all the plants. I went to Swanson’s and decided I’d plant 1/2 the plot with flowers and decorative plants and the other 1/2 with edibles.

My favorite flowers are: Peony, Tulips and Lilies. I looked all over for a nice deep red, or peach colored peony, but all they had were white and pink. I went with a light pink color. The bees were all over it.

Ballard P-patch Peony

My Peony

Koda

My lazy companion. He didn't even offer to help.

Balalrd P-patch plot

Getting started on my plot

Balalrd P-patch plot

Lemon cucumber, tomato, chives and bush beans...

I loved the lemon cucumbers we grew on the deck last year. I like how full the plant gets. They are easy to grow and they make me feel somewhat successful as a novice gardener!

I’m going to plant some peppers and maybe some arugula as well. Stay tuned…

hori hori dig dig!

The adventure continues. It has been a month and half since I bought my veggie starts and all of the edibles have been potted and are happily enjoying the rain and sun on the deck. The tomato plant has done well, but it isn’t growing as fast as I thought it would. At this rate I might get a few tomatoes in September!  Patience has never been one of my strong suits.

My original Lemon Cucumbers died. I think the edible plant sale was a bit too early this year and the starts didn’t have enough time to get established. I waited a month and then bought a few more at Swanson’s. Those are doing well, and I will have to transplant them into much larger pots soon.

The Arugula went bananas (b.a.n.a.n.a.s). We had a lovely sunny Sunday a few weeks ago and threw together an impromptu get together on the deck. We served steak sandwiches with fresh arugula (drizzled with olive oil and fresh lemon juice) and blue cheese on ciabatta buns. OMG, they were delicious. The arugula was perfect. I love how it adds just a little spice.

The Brussel Sprouts have also taken off. I think the pots I put them in are going to be too small. I’ll have to transplant those soon as well. I already have a plan for these lovelies when I harvest them (again… assuming I don’t kill them). Halved, and sautéed with onion and just a smidge of bacon.  Btw, these green pots I found at Ballard Market and at Swanson’s are biodegradable. They can be used for 2-3 years outside and longer if used indoors and then can be planted directly in the ground. They come in tons of fun colors too. Nice.

This past weekend I finally got around to potting some houseplants as well. I have never done too well with houseplants. Mostly because I only give them water (and usually too much of it), I don’t know which plants need fertilizer and how often. So, I’ve decided to buy mostly succulents this time around. That way they will be content with a little water now and then, and if I forget, I assume they won’t mind. I did buy a few low maintenance non-succulents as well. We’ll see how they do.

Overall, the deck is looking good and I’ve been enjoying the sun whenever it decides to shine down on Seattle. I think the edibles are doing well and I love checking on them each morning and night. It makes me so happy to watch them grow. We’ve also planted some rock rose and lavender and have seen more bee activity. Sean has been learning a lot about the decline in the bee populations and what that means for our plants, including edibles. So now, I (who detest all insects) am trying to help the little guys thrive. Sean actually contacted our neighborhood bee guy (who can install hives on your property and harvest the honey for you) to see if we could put a hive on the deck. Really, Sean?! Luckily the bee guy said that would be too difficult because he’d need regular access to our roof. Geez…

To be continued…

hori hori dig dig!

Living in the city is a bit of a challenge when it comes to gardening. I can’t afford a house with a yard and therefore a garden, so instead, as I’ve talked about before, I volunteer at Seattle Tilth so I can get my hands in the dirt and learn all about organic gardening.

The Spring Garden Crew season has started and last weekend was the Edible Plant Sale at Tilth. I bought a few starter plants and, for the first time, have committed to trying my hand at growing edibles in containers on the rooftop deck.

Here are the plants I selected:

Basil, Onion, Brussel Sprouts, Wild Arugula, Tomato (the saucy kind) and Lemon Cucumber (I heart these).

My hope is that after all is said and done, at least the tomato plant will have survived and flourished! I love fresh chunky tomato sauce. If it goes as planned and I have a ton of tomatoes, then maybe I’ll have to learn how to preserve them as well.

Here’s how cute and little they are now (and here’s hoping they don’t look the same size, but dead in a few months!)

If you have any advice I’d love to hear it. Fingers crossed. Stay tuned…

hori hori dig dig!