Monday, May 30, 2011

Week 2 - Everything is planted

The rain held off Sunday afternoon and with an extra set of hands, three of us got down to business building the beds and putting all the plants in. We spent a fair amount of time plotting out the space, and put in a a lot of stuff including:

A few varieties of tomatoes (heirloom, purple, roma, beefsteak amongst a few other varieties)
Red Peppers
Jalapeno Peppers
Pickling and sweet slice cucumbers
Herbs galore (tarragon, basil, rosemary, summer savory, oregano, dill and catnip for you know who)
Lettuce varieties, a tender leaf and mixed greens
Leeks, bunching onions and green onions
Pole beans
Swiss chard
and a pumpkin for Bryan :)

This is what $130 worth of vegetable plants looks like.

On the advice of an expert at Plant World (my new favourite store), we added approximately 2 handfuls of fertilizer per 10ft bed and worked it into the newly piled up soil. We spent even more time pulling out weeds that we missed last weekend, and as well transplanted a few more strawberry and raspberry plants from the other side of the lot. The transplants from last week held up great, and the strawberry plants have started to produce nice sized green berries. I am practically salivating at the thought of what is to come in a few months time.

Now it's a bit of watch and wait. We will be making regular watering visits as the soil has excellent drainage, perhaps too excellent. The next big project will be dealing with the grass in the back of the lot, as well as continuing to clear out the right side, where there are raspberry bushes galore. Nothing against raspberry bushes, but we've lost about 3 feet to them.

In about 25-30 days we should be pulling up radishes and harvesting the lettuce as the first things to come out of the garden. Strawberries might be close by then as well. I'm regretting that we did not leave any room for repeat lettuce sowings, but I'm not even sure how well they are going to do as it is a bit late to be starting them.

I'm getting hungry already!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Time To Get To Work

Monday May 23rd, 2011.

Ryan and I did some shopping and picked up a Garden Claw, a shovel, a value pack of work gloves (foresight!), a small garden tool kit, a pH tester, and some stakes and twine.

We spent about 4.5 hours while it was nice and cloudy and set about clearing the land. Thank god for the Garden Claw, as it worked on the soil pretty nicely. It took a fair amount of time to clear out the tall and deeply rooted grass (visible at the back of the plot) that had obstructed the front passageway, and we managed to salvage some perennial flower that is pre-bloom in front. Somebody will have to tell me what it is, I think it's going to be pretty though!

I'd like to get some more perennials to frame the front area and make it really "garden-y".

The soil is sandy and a bit on the dry side, so I'm thinking some peat moss is in order. We also want to build the beds and start planting this weekend so I'm not sure what the right way to do that is.

When we got home we got some graph paper and plotted out everything we'd like to try planting and where it's going to go, using some great books given to me by my grandmother. It's shaping up to be either an amazing wonderland of vegetables, or an abject failure. I really have no clue. Either way, I'm VERY glad we managed to get the area cleared so the soil can settle all week and maybe benefit from some foretasted rain.

Lesson of the day: it's apparently OK to poach plants and materials left behind by owners who have abandoned their plots, so we now have a garden hose and a few new strawberry bushes from next door. :)

We Finally Got an Allotment Garden!

Friday afternoon the City of Toronto Parks department *finally* called me to let me know they had reached my name on the waiting list.

I've been on it since February 1st and had long since given up on getting some land this year, so I was pretty excited to hear from them.

Since we were being offered a plot of land at the York Allotment Gardens site, and I had never seen the area, I had to take a guess on which plot I wanted from a handful of options. I picked 104 for no good reason and I am glad I did.

Though 104 was in rough shape, the adjacent plots were even worse, to the right of us a plot almost entirely taken over by a rampaging raspberry bush!

Owning no gardening tools, and having no clue on what to do or how to do it, we left it for a few days to formulate a plan of attack. The site is 30x15ft and as you can see, a bit "wild" at the moment.

This is a picture of the site as we found it on Friday May 20th, 2011.