Hopefully this summer the things you see in these pictures will be some of the food we will be eating in the coming year. I have struggled to go things in the past because my yard is so shaded that there is only a tiny portion of my yard that gets a lot of sun throughout the day. For the past couple of years I have be growing tomatoes, strawberries and herbs in pots on the patio. This year I was able to find a community garden and I was also able to get a plot in their garden for this coming year. My garden plot is 4' x 12'. I plan on using a lot of square foot gardening resources to maximize what I can grow in this space. I was so excited to have a plot! The photo above shows what my area looked like before I did any work at all.
If you aren't familiar with community gardens, they are a great idea. There is a gardening area set aside, in this case, on an empty lot on the property of a nearby church. People that live in the area can sign up to take care of individual plots. So far it has been a great way to meet new people who share a love of growing food. At the garden where I am at, there are some "community plots" that everyone helps take care of and everyone can participate in the harvesting. There is a community herb garden, one filled with strawberries, another with peas and one with flowers. We also have two plots that have been divided into thirds that are designated as children's plots and there are two more that are grown and donated to a nearby senior citizen's apartment complex.
This is the first year that I am starting my plants from seed. Normally I buy seedlings or in the case of my tomatoes, I get them from my Dad. All of my seeds are heirloom seeds purchased from either Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds or My Patriot Supply. I have one of those little greenhouse things that you can buy just about anywhere this time of year and I use it with a seed germinating mat and a grow light. Here you can see one of my plants about a day after it broke through the soil.
Here is my greenhouse starter minus the lid. At this point the cucumbers were starting to get too tall for me to use the lid.
After they outgrew the greenhouse, I transferred them into these degradable cups. They are just waiting until it gets warm enough to go in the ground! They get several hours of light a day using the grow light. ***My markers were made with a cut up mini blind. We had one that the cats had broken and when we replaced it, I forgot to take it out on trash day then I saw this suggestion somewhere online. Great idea and one mini blind will last a long time!
This is the raised bed, rolling planter that Kip made for me last year. Since I have had multiple back surgeries, some days bending over can be difficult so he came up with this idea for me. I can sit on a stool and do whatever and not really have to bend over at all. This is in my back yard in the sunny spot of the yard. This picture is from last year where I grew some cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes. Even with the community garden plot, I will still be growing herbs, some tomatoes and a few other things her at home.