The Life and Projects of An Avid Hobbyist

Monday, June 21, 2010

Urban Gardening - Chapter 1

I live in a rental community in Montclair, NJ. The neighborhood buts up against a regional university and has lots of great amenities, except community gardens.

Last winter, when looking for a new place, community gardening space was one of my criteria. I was both surprised and disappointed at how scare they are here in the "Garden State" I was able to secure several planting boxes on the property for use in gardening.

When I started the boxes had been well neglected and were covered in weeds.

Step 1: Remove weeds.
Neglected Planter

Upon closer examination, I noticed that the "weeds" were in fact mint plants. An overabundance of mint plants.

Montclair Mint
Mint is a weed with invasive me when I tell you...more info on the mint on a later post.

Step 2: Condition soil.
Soil + Box

A combination of new potting soil, hummus and nutrients were added to the dirt and mixed well. Did I mention it was approaching 90 degrees outside with crazy humidity?

Step 3: Plant vegetables and set-up tee-pees

I planted a great crop of heirloom tomatoes, hybrid tomatoes, hot peppers, cucumbers and beans.

Heirloom tomatoes include: Mortgage Lifter, Aunt Ruby's German Green and Cherokee Purple.
Hybrids include: Rutgers (I felt obligated as an alumnus).
Peppers: Thai hot and habanero
Cucumbers: various vining

I am also trying a new-to-me support system this year the garden teepee. I built mine with lengths of bamboo from the local hardware store. I will train the plants to climb up them. I've set-up a (several times a week) watering now it's time for mother nature (and some organic fertilizer) to do her thing.

Here's to the "Home Garden 2010"! May the good earth (dirt) produce nature's bounty. ~ksp

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