Wednesday, April 22, 2009

My First Gardening Post

Seems somewhat prophetic that my first garden post is on Earth Day.

Phil decided that he would garden as his hobby. So, after much research we decided to do some square foot gardens, and some container gardening. We rent our house here in San Antonio because we still own our home in Lawrence with G-Ma and some roommates living in it - why we didn't garden back there, I am not sure. We also want to put some plants out front, but in movable containers.

So, the saga begins. P-Daddy decided to build his 1st square foot garden out of cinder blocks so we maximize the space - plant inside the cinder block holes as well as within the garden. He planted carrots, cucumbers, radishes, cantaloupe, watermelon, lettuce and pumpkins. He and the kids deeply enjoyed rooting around in soil while L and I looked on. I can tend to be a little bossy and take things over, but I promised to just be a bystander on this gardening thing - um, yeah, right. So, everyday the kids and I water and tend to the garden while P-Daddy is at work, then he comes home and tends to the plants.

Being an eco-loving family I have always wanted to compost our kitchen waste, but never got around to it. Some of my fellow San Antonio API / Gardeners have these wonderful worm composters so we decided to give it a go. I traded some homemade cottage cheese and yogurt for 500 worms, built the composter and have let them go to town. I am a little worried that the maggots (from soldier flies - see post below) may have taken over and all the worms may have died because all I can see in the composter is the maggots. The worms make actual usable compost, but the maggots still get rid of the waste so either way we are good, but I am kind of attached to the worms so I hope they are okay.

We have also started a compost pile where we stack all the twigs and leaves from the yard, let it settle then stir it up. Supposedly great in setting up garden beds and the worms love it.

I have chicken envy. Several of the families I know raise them because it is legal in SA to have a few. Apparently if you handle them from chick-hood they are not mean. Besides which, there is just something so Earth Mother about being able to send the kids into the yard to get fresh eggs. Maybe I will call the HOA and see if they have some regs against it.

Next, we want to surround the patio with cinder blocks and grow herbs and flowers in them. Then add some containers with citrus trees to the patio, and maybe a Topsy Turvy tomato grower also. Also, add some more gardens as finances allow.

Here are a few pictures of the yard just to get a sense of what we have to work with. We have little or no grass and lots of shade.

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