Monday, May 26, 2008

Community Garden

I've used time this weekend to plant our plot in the PCHUM (Portage Chapel Hill UMC) community garden. When we first started thinking about creating a community garden in the area where an old house had been torn down, I wasn't sure we'd actually be able to pull it off. Now with most plots planted and green things poking up all over, it's pretty thrilling!

I did most of this the easy way and bought plants. So far, I spent about $45 on all that I put into the garden. This includes 4 Roma tomato bushes (to make sauce) and 3 other tomatoes. I also have 5 different pepper plants. Lots of herbs ( two types of basil, tarragon, rosemary), green beans (bush type), 2 kinds of radishes, 2 kinds of carrots and green onions. The plot is only about 10x18 feet and the soil is very sandy with lots of rocks. Our plot is where the old house stood, so I'll have to work to get the soil up to snuff. It doesn't get as much direct sun as I'd like, but it's better than my shady back yard. I'm going to be looking into Organic fertilizers and soil modification, as I'd like to grow this garden as organically as possible.

We spread aged horse manure over the entire garden before plowing -- compliments of my friend Jana. That stuff is so good, it could be rich soil on it's own. I'll have to get more from her for areas around the house. We also have some leaf compost that I'll haul over to the church plot and use for composing around the plants. That'll cut down on weeds and add nutrients over time.

I'm planting a bit more at the house too. We have room for one hill of Cantaloupe in the back yard (Tim's request) and I'm doing a few herbs in pots here too. I still have much work to do on the front flower bed (currently in transition) and we're going to make a raised bed next to the lower deck in the back. That one hasn't even been started. It may take all summer -- then I can plant perennials bought on the cheap at the end of season sales.

I've started a spread sheet with all the garden info (and hopefully the perennial info for home) to keep track of what plants and seeds do well. It's my more modern version of keeping a garden journal. Not as pretty, but since it's faster, I might actually take the time to put the info in!


Allison said...

That sounds so great! I'm going to have to poke around and see if there are any community garden opportunities in our area :)

Tim Appleton (Applehead) said...

What would the difference be between aged horse manure than the stuff I throw on right out of our barn? Just kidding. I am so happy to read about all you adventures! Sound like you are having a good time indeed.