Mother Fucking Community Garden

 

Last year I got a community garden plot to try and get over how sad my life was, and it was a trial-and-error experience. I had my first plot stolen, my second plot was close-but-not-close-enough to the water spigot, and my metal rake was stolen.

What I had in mind?

Ss-mad-max-fury-road-162

What I ended up with?

capture6.png

I got a voicemail today that since I would be a returning gardener, I can sign up for a plot early.

After talking with Furiosa, I think I’m going to do it. Here’s what I’m going to do differently:

  1. Plant my seedlings earlier: Last year, I didn’t even think about doing the community garden until about one week prior to when the plots opened. So, my seeds didn’t really have time to mature and the seedlings I planted largely died or had to wait ages to go out in the real world, and many of them never got maturity as a result. This time I can start basically really soon and have strong, stable plants by the time the planting opens.
  2. WEED. CLOTH. The community center where we plant is just a plowed field, so the weeds are very, very aggressive, and I couldn’t keep up with weeding. It’s a 20 x 20 plot, which is a lot of territory; I didn’t even plant in it all last time because the weeds had already overtaken most of it.
  3. Buy fewer seedlings: Since I started late, I had to buy a lot of starter packs. The strawberries weren’t even worth it – six plants, I got maybe that many fruit off of them. Tomatoes were all terrible too – the San Marzanos (my favorite small variety) all had rot on the bottom half of each fruit, and the other tomatoes were so small that it was difficult to eat – homegrown tomatoes have thicker skin and usually need to be peeled to eat. This time I can buy a pack of beefsteak tomatoes or something and grow many seedlings (saving upwards of $20) and have to peel like one or two tomatoes instead of thousands of little ones in order to make a salad.
  4. Plant less squash: my seed-growing success story was my god damn squash, and now I’m only going to plant maybe one or two of each (I think I had 3 or 4 of the two yellow varieties I grew last time). If you leave it alone for more than a day or two, it could double in size overnight, and get too woody to really good all that easily.
  5. Plant more melons: I had two teeny watermelon and cantaloupe plants, and the fruit they produced basically died before they were edible. It was just awful. These plants will take up a lot of real estate if you grow them correctly, so that will account for a lot of the ground if I plan it all right.
  6. Plant some corn and/or sunflower seeds for afternoon shade: it gets wicked hot there, and the afternoon sun is pretty brutal, so if I plant the corn facing west, it’ll help alleviate some of the harsh sun in the afternoon without sacrificing the morning onward. It wouldn’t be dense planting, but it would be enough to help so the tomatoes especially don’t get fried.

That’s about all I have right now. I think my total investment will be about $150-$200, which would admittedly buy a lot of produce if I just went and got it from the store, but what fun is that? If I can break even (ha, I hope, I hope) then it’ll be worth the work. I’ll weigh the produce we get and I’ll let you know.

Bonus: some photos from last year

Squash

more squash

 

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