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The Wanlorn ([personal profile] the_wanlorn) wrote2011-05-15 02:25 pm
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In Which Our Heroine Has a Garden (Sort Of)

Oh man internet, remember that time I said I'd post about my garden yesterday and instead I ended up starting to clean out my junk from my mum's basement? And remember that time I ended up throwing out* about eight reams of paper from all the way back to ninth grade?

So instead you get it today! AREN'T YOU THE LUCKY ONE.

Back in... oh gosh, sometime during the winter, I decided I was gonna build me a garden. On wheels. And that way I could put it in the sunny spots during the day so it would get enough sun! And when I moved my garden could come with me! So in March, I built the sucker (shoddily; I could see what I needed to change, but instead of changing it, I just shrugged and kept going) and filled it with around 12 square feet of dry dirt (AN IMPORTANT DETAIL), both from the woods (ALSO IMPORTANT) and manure and stuff. Then I made sure I could move it with all that stuff in and let it be until plantin' time.

Did you know that dry dirt weighs significantly less than wet dirt? Because I knew it, but I didn't understand it. So, being the smart cookie I am, I emptied it into trash bags until I could move it, dragged it to the front yard, but it so it was covering one of the hugely patchy spots so that the yard looked a little better, and dumped all the dirt back in. I only nearly passed out twice!

Couple days later, I got an email from my landlord asking me to please move my garden to back against the woods, because it was in the way of mowing. After saying "fuck you fuck you fuck you this yard is a shithole anyway not being able to mow a whole four square feet doesn't matter jesus fucking christ fuck youuuuuuuu" and crying a little for a bit, I looked at my indoor plant shelf in the living room, looked at what I wanted to plant, referred to my reference manuals on small space gardens and container gardens, and went to the story to buy a thousand pots, a second shelving unit, and a few more shop lights.

Then I spent an afternoon filling pots from my outside garden and moving ten medium ones inside (laying construction grade trash bags on the floor to protect it), leaving six sort of smaller ones outside on the steps, and two huge ones outside next to the steps. And then I moved the garden back where the landlord wanted it, where I have never ever been able to get anything to grow because of the complete lack of sunlight there (like, not even weeds will grow. idefk.) and left it to rot.

So that is how I came to have a container garden. BUT IT WAS NOT ALL EASY. See, my cats were content to leave the weeds that were coming up (from the backyard dirt) well enough along. But the seedlings I planted? Those were fucking delicious. So out I went to get some chicken wire. To protect it.

In the bedroom, there's a set of six pots, three per shelf, with two shop lights and fucking chicken wire.

To the left you can see the cats' litter tub and the dog's travel bowl in the bathroom. And a cat.

The living room is more half-assed, because by that time I was tired and angry at the chicken wire for being so difficult to deal with in such a small space. So I just kinda rolled it over the row of three pots on the bottom, leaving the cat grass pot freeeeeee.

Cutting it seemed too difficult at that point, too.

And now here come a series of closeups of the garden plants, cataloging my triumphs and failures. For instance, the cat grass? Used to be a sunberry seedling before the god damn cat ate the crap out of it. Any holes in seed leaves that you see are the fault of the god damn cat.

top left, bedroom, russian pickling cucumber four in the pot, most successful so far,

top center, bedroom, romanesco broccoli one in the pot + weeds, one of two broccolis out of twenty-five to survive

top right, bedroom, russian pickling cucumber three in the pot, second most successful so far, i plan to make a lot of pickles

bottom left, bedroom, double yield cucumber first epic failure, wtf grow you dick

bottom center, bedroom, romanesco broccoli kind shocked it survived, since i watered it way too hard once which basically destroyed the root system

bottom right, bedroom, parade cucumber the survival of this one is iffy since it was the most cat-et and the slowest grower

floor, living room, cat grass + cat he still tries to eat the carrots

left, living room, sequoiay strawberries i'm choosing to take it still being alive as a good sign since the cat ate most of it

center, living room, french market carrots oh god how are these even still alive, never mind questing for freedom

right, living room, clover whatever was in here originally got cat-et, so the clover gets to grow

seedlings, living room, mint this is either lemon balm or spearmint, either way it stopped growing weeks ago

right front, outside, dwarf gray sugar peas i do not understand how peas climb

right side, outside, various the back two are destined for spearmint and oregano

left side, outside, various gosh darn it what do i need with all these peas? the two smaller ones are destined for lemonbalm and something else
the two big ones are destined for tom thumb popcorn and ideal market beans in both

So! That there is my garden! Isn't it great? I have learned how to use both macro AND manual focus on my camera (after five years or so), so tomorrow I will post some pictures of the succulents, maybe!

* And by "throwing out" I mean "recycling" but that doesn't have quite the same ring to it.
inkstone: Alex Benedetto from the @Bunch issue containing Chapter 42 (Default)

[personal profile] inkstone 2011-05-15 07:52 pm (UTC)(link)
Peas climb by those little thready tendrils! Beans do the same thing. :3
inkstone: Alex Benedetto from the @Bunch issue containing Chapter 42 (Default)

[personal profile] inkstone 2011-05-15 08:04 pm (UTC)(link)
Because the tendrils are clingy! They like growing up! :DDDDDDD
inkstone: Alex Benedetto from the @Bunch issue containing Chapter 42 (Default)

[personal profile] inkstone 2011-05-15 10:42 pm (UTC)(link)
When is/was your last frost date?

This season, admittedly, has been really challenging in terms of growing. I've been having problems with stuff I didn't expect to be!
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[personal profile] inkstone 2011-05-15 10:53 pm (UTC)(link)
Some cucumber varieties prefer it warmer, ime. The ones I have that sprouted, I didn't sow until a week after my last frost date.

...i really should start a garden journal. I'm the most haphazard home gardener you'll ever meet! I'll try that next year. XD
inkstone: Alex Benedetto from the @Bunch issue containing Chapter 42 (Default)

[personal profile] inkstone 2011-05-15 11:06 pm (UTC)(link)
Maaaaybe. Seeds can be weird. Sometimes they take a loooong time to sprout. I know my snow peas took a while to sprout but once they did, OMG so fast!
inkstone: Alex Benedetto from the @Bunch issue containing Chapter 42 (Default)

[personal profile] inkstone 2011-05-15 11:57 pm (UTC)(link)
I feel like my snow peas and alogbate are like that. The snow peas I'm constantly hitting towards the wire netting I have propped up against the chimney so they can climb up that way. They seem to want to grow out but there's nothing for them to grab onto there! So whack! Back into the wall. :P

The alogbate took nearly two months to germinate but now they're happily growing along. And I know they'll only grow faster once we hit July & August since they loooooooooooooooove the hot weather.
inkstone: Alex Benedetto from the @Bunch issue containing Chapter 42 (Default)

[personal profile] inkstone 2011-05-16 12:05 am (UTC)(link)
Alogbate is what I call Filipino spinach but I guess actually has a proper English name: malabar spinach. It's my favorite vegetable -- so versatile and you can eat it in tons of ways! Plus it's got tons of protein too!
inkstone: Alex Benedetto from the @Bunch issue containing Chapter 42 (Default)

[personal profile] inkstone 2011-05-16 12:42 am (UTC)(link)
It's similar to spinach but I like it better. I've never eaten it raw though -- and I'm not sure you can? -- but a quick 1 minute in the microwave and it's ready to go. If you do decide to plant it though, keep in mind that it takes a loooong time to germinate. So if you're going to do it, it has to go in the ground now.
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[personal profile] necromommycon 2011-05-16 10:24 am (UTC)(link)
I love container gardening! Although mine always ends up as a messy conglomeration of large coffee cans and stuff because I run out of pots.

mmmm, pickles.
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[personal profile] necromommycon 2011-05-16 06:18 pm (UTC)(link)
Eeee, babby oak tree. I would be tempted to keep it, personally.
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[personal profile] eggcrack 2011-05-16 05:31 pm (UTC)(link)
My only experiences of gardening are trying to raise a flower in the backyard for a few childhood summers and raising a tiny batch of carrots on one, so allow me to gawk at you for going through that many hardships and still living on to raise this many green and living things. What a great garden indeed! These are some really nice photos too; the clover, the french market carrots, the russian pickling cucumber and the cat photos are my favorites. <3

[personal profile] miss_haitch 2011-05-17 09:27 am (UTC)(link)
I am so envious, your garden looks amazing! My poor lettuces and sunflower got scorched. D: