Dana’s Big Gardening Adventure: planting time!

Just as I’m getting my seedlings and delicate baby plants into the garden as part of my own personal locavore experiment, big business is catching on to the concept, too. From the sounds of this article, the effect of big companies growing and processing locally is excellent for the economy as well as for the environment. Good news all around.

My intention is to reduce my food miles for produce to zero this summer and I’m off to a good start. You’ve all seen my seedlings and the bricks I pulled out of my garden to get ready to plant. Now, it’s time for you to meet John, my mom’s boyfriend. That’s him rototilling the soil in the garden behind my test kitchen. As you can see, I didn’t fib when I told you that I had great garden plot. Look at how dark that soil is!

After he finished, I marked out my rows and got my seeds and seedlings into the ground. I’m going to be using 100% organic techniques this year as part of my experiment. With soil that has been a fallow compost heap for at least three summers, I expect I’m going to have a ton of weeds. At John’s suggestion, I’ve spaced the rows wide apart (almost 2 feet/60-cm) so that we can run the rototiller down the rows to mulch up the worst of the weeds as they spring up. That said, I’m expecting to spend a lot of time weeding this summer so next on my purchase list is a composter.

Next week I’ll have pictures of my garden and a full plant list to share so please drop by to see my progress.

9 Responses to Dana’s Big Gardening Adventure: planting time!

  1. Beth says:

    The earth in your garden looks really nice and dark. Did you add anything to it or do you just have a ton of topsoil in your area?

    My soil is sandy. I’m not sure if it would be good for growing food. Any tips?

  2. Kitt says:

    I lust after a rototiller. Someday.

    I wouldn’t put weeds in the compost. If there are seeds on the plants, or if they’re the kind that can grow from bits of root, like bindweed, you’ll end up with weeds everywhere you spread that compost.

  3. Cheryl says:

    Dana, this is very exciting. Your pictures do a good job setting the scene for the abundance that will surely come later in the summer. I can’t wait to hear what you’ve planted and to see how it fares, even though I’m thousands of miles away. Good luck!

  4. Laurie says:

    Dana I’m in gardening mode too. My husband is building me these great planter boxes..two down six to go!! I’m so exited! 🙂

  5. danamccauley says:

    Thanks for the encouragement and advice about the weeds in the composter ladies! I had planned to put young weeds in to compost but maybe I should revise that plan?

    Beth, from what I know sandy soil can be great for certain types of plants. And, you can always add organic matter (compost, peat moss, etc to sandy soil or on top of it. Sand is great for allowing drainage so it should make a very good base for a garden I’d think.

  6. Vanilla says:

    Good luck with planting! I just finished planting my last bit of garden last week and looking forward to tasting my veggies…

  7. danamccauley says:

    Vanilla, hopefully we will both have bountiful crops! Planting took me a good 4 hours by the time I was done. Now, I’m the hauling the hose around constantly. I hadn’t thought about the fitness advantage of gardening until I felt my muscles the other night. By fall we’ll be fit locavores!

  8. Christine says:

    Good luck with planting! Here is to a summer of bountiful crops so I can read what you are going to do with everything!

  9. jasmine says:

    Ooh. best of luck. I’m pretty limited in what I’m allowed to do with the back yard (condo rules), and since it’s a throughway for all the little people, I may keep it pretty bare. That said…my parent’s backyard could be a project for me–they are great gardeners, but haven’t done much in the past decade or so…hmmm…must think about this.


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