29 May 2012

Urban Farming - 2nd Summer - Setting Up

Last summer's community garden experience wound up being a bit of a science experiment.  Fun, interesting, but bit of a bust in terms of a substantive harvest.  So this year I am going to switch things up a bit.  I'd used our front porch for pretty stuff and some herbs.  This summer, I am going to try container gardening.  

The beginning set

Last weekend I cleared away the winter's stash of firewood and swept away all the old leaves.  Then during the week, when I took breaks from my remote database management job, I started to get the pots up from the basement and began testing out how I wanted to arrange them all.

Our upstairs neighbor/landlord is lending me some blown glass watering bulbs.  Last year we had some pretty hot days and I didn't always get out there to water the poor bairns.  Maybe these will help in case I fall behind again.

Always encouraging is this perennial I dug up from our shared backyard several years ago.  I just wanted something leafy that first summer when we moved in.  This beastie - have no idea what it is -- has been showing up every spring for 3 years now.  Yes, it's a perennial and that's what they do - but I have not treated this plant particularly well.  I thought it had died after Year 1 and just left the pot uncovered and unprotected out on the porch all through the winter. 

Last week I took an afternoon to get the first round of plants in.

 Two varieties of tomatoes, with protective chicken wire 
(we have many cats and squirrels who visit our porch on a regular basis).

The kitchen herbs (thyme, sage, 2 kinds of mint, basil & rosemary).
Plus 4 'sweet banana peppers' and 1 green pepper.

All the Pretties!

Porch garden at day's end.

Next week I'll be putting in some seeds: green beans, carrots, and several varieties of leaf lettuce.  As things get all 'bloomy' and stuff, I'll post some updated pics.


  1. I hope all goes well - it sounds like a worthwhile experiment! We grow herbs and that's about it, but it's always nice to be able to add something fresh that I didn't have to buy to the evening meal.

  2. Hi MEK,

    My Beloved Spousal Unit, for whom white pepper is The Spice, has recently discovered rosemary. The recipe that made this happen is Irish Beef and Onion Pie (here is the link: http://bit.ly/JyUezt).

  3. Does the chicken wire work well in both keeping the squirrels at bay and staking the tomato plant? I've been fighting squirrels all summer and am looking for a new way to protect my tomatoes next year. Also, I live in an apartment complex so I want to make the chicken wire look as neat and nice as possible and not be an eyesore for the neighbors. Yours look very cute, do the wires look as unobtrusive in real life, or does the camera make it look not so bad?

  4. Thanks for asking - I will be putting up a summary post next week about this. Short answer to both - 'kinda sorta'. I'll have more details on 2 Oct.

  5. Great, also, if you don't mind letting us know how you manage to reach into the cage for pruning or to harvest tomatoes when they're ripe. Thanks!


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