Thursday, June 4, 2015

How to plant an urban garden

Our garden is up and running again, though this season we were lazy urban farmers. We chose to buy tomato seedlings instead of growing them ourselves. We bought heirloom plants, mostly from Union Square Green Market. We got black cherry and Aunt Ruby's German Green (below) plants from Silver Heights Farm - an organic nursery with a booth at the market. It has the widest choice of heirlooms, though the plants are very long and leggy. I burried the stems very deeply in the pots to make them stronger as they grow taller. We bought two Cherokee Purple and two Brandywine plants from different vendors at the market. Because we went store-bought, we didn't experiment with new varieties the way we do when we buy seeds from, but maybe that's a good thing. We've had some clunkers the past few seasons. This year, we went with our greatest hits. Now, the real work begins - nurturing them to get a bountiful harvest of amazing fruit. We replaced the old Miracle Grow with new organic soil. We fired up the automatic watering system. We pinched the early flowers to give the plants a chance to grow stronger. We fertilized with Jobs Tomato Spikes for the right balance of nutrients. And now, we wait. It will take a couple months, but when the tomatoes come in, they will be truly delicious. There is nothing like a home-grown heirloom!
Of course, we didn't stop at tomatoes. We've got salad greens, arugula, Red Russian kale, sweet bell peppers, Hungarian hot wax peppers, Ichiban Japanese eggplants, and Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme - and basil, peppermint, lavender and chives, strawberries and blueberries too!

First Strawberry
Young blueberries
Red Russian Kale
Aunt Ruby's German Green tomato
Basil seedling

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