Urban Gardening update: As most of you know, Claire and I really enjoy growing our own vegetables, so when we moved in we took over the sidewalk grass strip that luckily gets full sun nearly all day. Last year we built two 4’x8’ raised beds and had a pretty darn good year. This spring we decided to drop two more in, for a total of four raised beds and a tomato planter. This year I built a cloche for the two new beds to speed up my seeds and starts and it worked exceptionally well. We are way ahead from this time last year. Since the cloche worked so well, I am going to try and have one of the beds be a hot house (already hit 115 degrees) and grow veggies that normally need more heat to grow well, plants like peppers, eggplants, bush beans, and tomatoes. Since we have doubled the amount of planting space this year we are growing some new veggies to us. Currently growing: Snow peas, Pak Choi, Chard, assortment of lettuce, assort. of kale, brussel sprouts, beets, spinach, green onion, leeks, chinese cabbage, strawberries, kohlrabi, radish, parsnip, carrots, turnips, potatoes, fennel, tomatoes, banana peppers, sweet peppers, jalapeno, purple bush bean, yellow squash, zucchini, japanese cucumbers and eggplants.
All in all, the planters have been been a wonderful edition to overall feeling of home. We are utilizing a space that we would have never been able to use for ‘yard’ purposes and we are not filling up our yard with veggie gardens. During the spring, summer and fall we get a pretty substantial amount of food from them for just a little bit of work (initial set up is 70% of the work). But the unforeseen benefit of the planters has been their ability to connect us to our neighbors. Over half of all the people we have met in our neighborhood is due to the planters. People tell me that they alter their daily walk, bike ride, run, errands just to see how all the veggies are doing. I have had people knock on our door to ask questions about the various veggies and ask for tips and advice. So, if you have the space, and desire to grow some yummy veggies, I highly recommend it and let me know if you need any help. You do not need a green thumb, you will grow one.