Thursday, April 23, 2009

Urban Gardening

One of my goals is to produce enough of our own fruits and veggies (and possibly nuts) to feed us each year. Lofty goal I know, especially considering we enjoy lots of food not native to Florida. We may have to suppliment with bought foods but hopefully we can stick with farmers markets or other local growers.

Around September I started a few Earth Box type container gardens made from 2 plastic storage totes and a pvc pipe. While not completely thrifty it was still more economical than buying the Earth Box brand and much more feasable than creating an in ground garden.

I planted 3 boxes each with 2-4 types of seeds. Went inside to wash my hands and my proactive husband moved them around and I was unable to label them because I couldn't remember what was where!!! So, the boxes got left unlabeled to "see what grows where". Now we're about 7 months later and here are the results...

One box with about 5ft tall stalks for cherry tomatoes with two lovely little beauties growing.
There are also a few other green thin sprouts about 3" long that i have no idea what they are.

The second box has about six pounds of dill growing with nice, thick stalks. I just harvested a bunch before taking this photo, enough to give my neighbor a nice fresh handful and at least another good handful for me to use and hang to dry. We won't be short of dill anytime soon.
Also in this box is one lone plant that's coming right along....and I have NO idea what it is!!! Any ideas??

The third box was succumb to the elements and lost all the original sprouts. Thinking nothing would come of it I dumped a bunch of lettuce seeds in there from a package my daughter opened. Well, I now have a tiny forest of lettuce sprouts. I have some pots to replant some but will have to thin them out. I also threw some spare chive seeds and those have sprouted as well.

Seeing the issues with initially planting a million seeds in an earthbox I decided our next round would be with some smaller greenhouses where we could control the number of plants. The kids each got a flat and we spent the morning planting seeds in them. We have pumpkin, lavender, watermellon, carrots, yellow and red peppers, cucumbers, bunching white onions, tomatoes and about 40 corn seeds. If these seeds take we'll be in seventh vegetable heven by the fall. These were all very well labeled too. We used organic soil and organic seeds from Peaceful Valley (

Right now we'll continue with container gardening until we are established up on our 5 acres. Then I hope to have had lots of experience with farming and be able to plot some large areas. If we dont' get anything more to grow we'll have 1/4 of a salad and enough dill to last until retirement. Hopefully, more will come! We are having some issues with aphids and I found a fat caterpillar in the tomatoes. I need to research how to dry herbs and prune back tomato plants before I end up with a porch full of those!

Here is Olivia with her pot she painted herself and the teeny sunflower sprout residing in it.

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