Monday, June 21, 2010

Urban Farming Redux

Year two for Farmer Pol is looking promising.

I have expanded my beds, refined my layout, and timed my planting more appropriately. Lettuce, kale, sugar snaps, snows, brussels, broccoli, okra, tomatoes, and asparagus are on the menu for spring/ summer and I've got more in the works for summer/ fall.

Things I've learned this year:

- You can plant earlier in downtown than elsewhere because of the radiant heat. We likely average a good 3-5 degrees warmer which extends our growing period by a few weeks.

- Peas need a horizontal support, vertical wrought iron sounded like it would work well but the peas prefer something smaller to latch on to.

- One 4 foot row of Kale is enough for anyone.

- Go easy on the lettuce seeds, their germination rate is closer to 90% than 9% like I assumed.

- Small spaces allow for a more targeted and orderly garden. The design is as important as anything as it is a showpiece and a functional space.

I love my garden. It is big enough to produce enough produce to be practical, but not so big as to be a burden and time sink. I like to think that people headed to the city county building or out for a walk are pleasantly surprised to see such and unexpected thing in the middle of town as a garden.

Come by, enjoy, I'm happy to share (especially the kale). There are two pretty gardens on W. Hill at Henley, mine, of course, and Brian Pittmans just up the street. Neither of us mind if you look.


The Modern Gal said...

Looking good. I'm planning on starting a garden in my new back yard, so I might need advice from you and Lo.

Anonymous said...

Check your broccoli very closely when you pick it, for green worms. It's a butterfly larvae, and they are exactly the same color as the broccoli stems, so they are had to see.

I try to plant broccoli as early as possible, get a couple of harvests before the worms get too bad, and then throw the plants away.

I hate dishing out a big serving of broccoli, only to see several cooked butterfly larvae roll out on my plate.

radioactivegan said...

If you are really looking to give away some kale, please let me know. I can never have enough!

benjamin said...

if you need another use for kale try throwing a leaf or two in a fruit/berry smoothie. it's good stuff and it's good for you!

Anonymous said...

mmmm Pol, I adore Kale. Your garden looks awesome. Good work. I wish I were inclined to have a garden. I have the space for it, just can't bring myself to do it.