27 February 2009

Growth

We are starting our first garden this year (along with the compost pile we started a few months ago that Chesney keeps launching himself into with gusto). Unfortunately our shiitake mushroom log has been a bust, but I'm hoping for good results with the more traditional plants. Can I just say how excited I am that we finally live in a place where drunken frat boys won't rip up the food we're attempting to grow?

Because we're renting and because we live in an arid climate, we decided to use Earth Boxes, which we're hoping will conserve some water and still yield good results. It's been very warm here and I think we're past danger of frost, so we've already started broccoli, peppers, basil, chives, and parsley indoors (see broccoli sprouts above). I'm thinking that I should start the dahlias indoors, too. I'm also considering sowing the Swiss chard and spinach outside this weekend. Supposedly these greens do well in colder weather, but is it too early to start these outdoors in the southwest? It's been in the high 60s here!

My grandmother, who is 96, continues to garden an impressive half acre at every summer. She eats from her harvest all year round, and while I've "helped" her (in the most childish sense of the word), I don't know much about actually getting plants to produce. I'd love to hear some gardening tips (I'm looking to you, Julia!) from more seasoned veterans. Anything I should know as we get started, readers?

3 comments:

Katie said...

That is so cool that your grandmother is still gardening! I learned everything I know from the old country folks around here.

Have a look at the Etsy gardening group on flickr. We'd love to have you:
http://www.flickr.com/groups/etsygardening101/

Julia said...

i'm so excited for you and your garden! i think you should definitely plant swiss chard, kale, spinach, and other greens now! there are many crops that you can (and should) plant outside "as soon as the ground can be worked" and most greens are in that category. i would check out yougrowgirl.com (also her book is amazing, esp. for new gardeners)- there's tons of info about when to plant one, especially in different regions.

i'm so looking forward to watching your garden grow! also, i'm so flattered that you think of me as a seasoned veteran! i have no clue what i'm doing most of the time. just remember- it's all an experiment, don't be too hard on yourself, and definitely solicit advice from your friends/neighbors/local garden store employees, whoever you can find. good luck!

Andrea Q said...

Is there a Cooperative Extension service office near you? They usually offer seminars with tips for local gardening. I highly recommend it. I tried gardening in Las Vegas and didn't have very good luck.

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