May 16, 2008

my "garden"

My family has always had a stellar garden. My grandpa grows all kinds of corn, tomatoes, peas, taters, green beans, cucumbers, and carrots, to name a few. He also harvests apples and berries. On the other side of the family, my grandma grows green beans out the wazoo (some seasons she cans over 100 quarts). Our garden at home is full of goodies like peppers, cilantro, squash, and green beans. Yes, my family likes green beans.

(I'm a mother! This is my first offspring. She's gonna be a looker, right?)

Up until this latest move, I’ve still benefited (mooched, some might say) from those gardens. Unfortunately, it’s apparently quite a bit of trouble to ship fresh produce 700 miles. (Excuses, excuses, I say.) Thus, I’m forced to plant my own garden if I want to partake of any newly-picked fruits and veggies.

(Can we talk about how the phenomenal smell of cilantro lingers on my fingertips long after I harvest it and how happy that makes me? Man, I love this stuff.)

Obstacle #1: I have no land. I live in an upstairs apartment containing no soil of which to speak. (A dirt-free apartment had been considered a perk until now.) I do, however, have a little deck, so in order to overcome obstacle #1, I went to Home Depot and bought some pots and planters, as well as some soil.

Obstacle #2: Regrettably, I have no gardening knowledge. Even though I’ve been surrounded by it my entire life, I’ve largely ignored the methods. Doh. Perhaps green thumbs are genetic, in which case I’m all set. If not, I’m already poring over online articles and library books.

(Peter Piper picked a peck of poblano peppers. How many poblano peppers did Peter Piper pick?)

Obstacle #3: I have no experience with the NY climate. What grows well here? I don’t really know, but I do know what produce I like best. So, I got four varieties of tomatoes (golden jubilee, husky cherry red, roma, and bush early girl), two types of peppers (poblano and jalapeno), zucchini, and cilantro. Those seemed like a good start.

(Everything I read and past memories indicate that zucchini is a very prolific plant. Here's hoping I don't mess it up.)

Obstacle #4: Again, since this is a new climate, I have no idea what to expect in terms of temperature and summer weather. Sadly, I haven’t found anyone who can offer me any advice. Any pointers, New Yorkers? Since temperatures at night are still in the 30s(!), I’ve been using some common sense (also known as advice from the Maminator) and bringing my new babies in at night.

(No, your eyes are not deceiving you. I improvised for my shortage of pots by using old coffee containers and an ice cube bin. I knew there was a reason to keep them! Frugality at work, my friends.)

Yes, folks, I'm excited. Updates will be frequent, unless I fail miserably, in which case you'll never hear about my "garden" again.

29 comments:

canarygirl said...

Your babies are just beautiful! I can't grow anything to save my life. I even kill the basil. Who knew that was even possible? lmao My grandfathers were the gardeners in the family...I have such great memories of eating fresh fruit and veggies straight from the garden! :)

Bellini Valli said...

As long as your little babies get sunshine they will do alright. I get no sunshine on my deck until around 4...this is perfect to keep me cool in the hot summer months...but sadly not good to grow massive quantities of beautiful veggies.

Albany Jane said...

Yes, a healthy dose of sunshine will do them wonders. Other than that, I tend to kill plants, so that's about all the advice I have.

Tomatoes will grow amazingly well here, just don't forget a dowel or support of some kind for them to climb. Last year I mooched the best yellow pear tomatoes off of my neighbor when he'd go off for the weekend (hey, they would have gone bad...).

Kathy said...

Your little tomato is beautiful! So much GREEN to admire in your pictures...and what a trooper you are! Inspiring!

p.s. Be sure to poke some holes in the bottom of the makeshift containers so water will drain from the bottom.

Lorraine E said...

Wow, well done! I'm in the same situation, no land, just a balcony and a windowsill. You've got a veritable garden there!

Smithy said...

A, my mom and we used to grow all kinds of tomatoes and herbs, they just need tons of light. good call with bringing stuff in in the cold though. i have a tomoato plant and am going to plant up my herbs this weekend on our new deck. cilantro is so good to grow, just don't let it go to flower. also goodies, basil (yum) and chives, etc. can't wait to see you soon!!
K

lcsa99 said...

I am so jealous. You have such a beautiful garden!

I live in a basement apartment, with no real windows and cement all around the outside so no hope of planting anything. I can't wait till I can at least have a window box :)

Melanie said...

Fabulous ingenuity! I have no doubt you will succeed.

Indigo said...

I think probably you do have an advantage with the green-fingered genes? My family kills everything it comes across, so I can't give advice I'm afraid. I'm actually suprised I survived so long in this house.

Frugality! I approve. I think the 'ice cube box' label particularly adds charm XD.

Elle said...

I will be eagerly awaiting your gardening updates! I'm sure it'll be spectacular!

I also grew up around gardens. My dad had the best garden in the neighborhood, and it was my job to carry paper grocery bags filled way over the top with tomatoes and cukes to the neighbors. Luckily, he's only a few streets away now, so he can help with our garden.

Kim said...

Can't wait for the update. I love gardening and grew up with one as well. Jersey tomatoes are the best so if you can find some seedlings get them. You have a cute baby on the way! Cilantro is one of my favorites as well. Oh, hiding this from the husband he keeps everything and I am a thrower outer.

noble pig said...

Can I throw you the baby shower...what theme should we do...and pink or blue or are you not going to find out?

So far the baby (or fetus) since it's still in the womb (ya know) is looking just like you.

You must have strong DNA.

Abby said...

I'd love to plant a garden, but since my dad grows one a mile away - and puts anything in it I request - I'm not all that motivated to do it myself!

And the green beans? Us, too. Well, not me, I've never liked them, but my mom cans TONS every year. The rest of the family inhales them!

Sarah said...

Oh my, amen on being frugal! I totally commend anyone who uses old coffee cans, ice cube trays, and whatever else you can in an effort to recycle. As a Kindergarten teacher, I'm constantly using things like that in my classroom. And why spend money on a super expensive pot when you get one for free when you purchase your coffee?! :)

Emiline said...

You have quite a crop there. I wish I could give you advice, but I have no idea how plants grow in New York. If you have any questions, I'm sure my parents could help. They've grown gardens for years.

Good luck kiddo.

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

You've inspired me! My dad was the original Mr. Greenthumbs. He grew almost all of our fruits, vegetables and herbs. Now that he's gone, I've really been wanting to carry on his garden legacy, but "something" always gets in the way. I'm going to make it a priority now!

giz said...

So far nearly everything seems to be perfect for where you are. I'm just not quite sure how you'll do with the zuccini since it spreads like the devil. Keep me posted on that one.

Mrs. L said...

I'm rooting for your plants to make it! I too, have no land, just a patio that gets to be 200 degrees in the summer. I also have no green thumb. We buy new plants for the patio every year (sometimes more than once since they don't seem to survive more than a month or two :)

descentintodessert said...

good luck! it looks great!

Kevin said...

I need to move from this apartment to a place where I can have my own garden. It sounds like a lot of fun.

Pixie said...

Oh girl, you've just convinced me I need to take over the little space that's downstairs in this apartment building so I can start growing some of my own herbs.

Missed stopping over- sorry it's been a while!

;) Grace, are you in the city city as in nyc? ;)

Sandy said...

Hi Grace - we've already planted out tomatoes and we did it different this year. Trench-planting, have you ever done that w/tom? YUM!
Love your photos!

Gigi said...

How exciting! My mom has never been without a garden. I also "mooched" fruits and veggies off her but now she lives in Florida and I in California. I just planted my first patio/deck garden today. I hope it will yield me tomatoes, cilantro, strawberries and chives! I am just smitten with your green baby! May she turn a stunning shade of red and be delicious!

Raffy Jay said...

You'll gonna remeber that offspring. ha-ha.

Psychgrad said...

Maminator...I like that.

Unfortunately, my gardening knowledge includes killing tomatoes and cucumbers...and feeding squirrels the seeds I've just planted (argh!).

judi.0044 said...

I've been in upstate NY - about zone 4 - compared to the west coast which was zone 8 as I recall - for ten years. Short growing season - sometimes frost in May and again by Sept. compared to about nine months of growing season out there. Sometimes had to pull green tomatoes off the vines at the end of the season here. All you can do is experiment and enjoy!

mimi said...

thanks for visiting my blog, fellow new yorker! looks like you still are starting a wonderful garden with just the little space you have! can't wait to see what you make with all of it!

LyB said...

Wow, you've been a busy little bee! I do hope your babies thrive so we can get regular updates on your garden. I'm really bad with plants so I'll probably be taking pointers from you! :)

Roochi said...

so sweet.............nice little garden