Monday, March 26, 2012

How Does Your Garden Grow?

I'm waiting for two things in the mail today.  One is Ellis' school placement letter for next year.  I won't go into the whole can of worms that is the Chicago Public Schools, except to say that it's utterly crazy-making.  The other is my seed order from Renee's Garden.

This year, I'm working toward growing as much of our produce as I can.  Last year, I planted a lot but had very disappointing yields.  We had just moved in, so I didn't know that my neighbor was a vertical gardener.  Her plants ended up blocking my plant's sun.  Last year was also a tough year weather-wise.  We did manage a very hearty cherry tomato plant, marjoram, chives, eggplant, and basil.  Our cucumbers tomatillos, and tomatoes, however, were very disappointing.  I also have a chard plant that somehow survived the winter.

For this year, I've redesigned my garden layout to account for the ways in which my sunlight will change as my neighbor's garden reaches to the sky.  I'll be using lots of containers as well as planting up on our deck.  I'll also be starting a lot from seed, including radishes, lettuces, cucumbers, beans, carrots, and herbs.  This has never been my forte.  I'm hoping, though, that by direct-sowing what I can, I'll have more luck and heartier plants.  I've never been able to get the hang of starting seeds indoors.  And as for what I can't direct-sow or start inside, I'll be buying seedlings.  That includes tomatoes and tomatillos, primarily.  I'm also doing garlic, which I guess I can just buy at the grocery store and plant.

Last year we had a CSA, which we loved.  However, we have decided to try to grow what we can and do the Farmer's Market for the rest.  I still ended up buying quite a lot from the market to fill in the CSA gaps.  Although I loved supporting a local farmer in that way, we just can't justify the expense for our family this year.

Sorry I don't have pics today.  But take my word for it, my empty garden plot isn't very inspiring.  I promise seed pics eventually!

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