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New adventures in urban gardening....

Posted by alison 5/OH (My Page) on
Wed, Apr 7, 10 at 17:45

Well, after breaking ground at a dozen apartments since 1984 I've finally got a little plot of my own. Literally, a little plot. Having always told myself I wanted a little house with a lot of land, I went and bought a huge house with a little fringe of space around it.

How small is my garden? Here's the back "yard" -- in two small snaps! (Taken with my back to the fence on the alley, the house is literally 12 feet away from the alley.)

And the front "yard":

I have great plans for the front; building a retaining wall and tearing out the grass. (5 feet by 20 feet on a slope is not a "lawn" -- I'm not going to waste time trying to make it one!) But that's for later this summer.

I've pulled all the weeds in the back and am busy turning over the soil in the beds betwween the concrete. One bed is tilled, (and by that I mean I dug it up thyen got down on hands and knees and broke up the soil, picked out the rocks, and uncovered a remarkable number of pork rib bones) amended, and planted with shade-lovers from my last apartment.

I've spent this week trying to turn over a second bed -- which is filled with broken concrete. This morning I dug up a chunk 2 1/2 feet square and about 10 inches thick -- so big I couldn't pick it up, and had to wheel it out of the bed. The upside is I've been using the larger chunks to bolster the fence to the west, and the smaller pieces I'm dumping into a hole being scoured out by a broken downspout, to slow tthe erosion until I can get it replaced.

I've always been a big fan of finding a little bit of land wherever you are, and I'm really excited with my space, small aas it is. I look forward to getting some "after" shots to show you!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: New adventures in urban gardening....

You never know what you might find hiding under the dirt:~)

Looks like you have some good times ahead of you. Keep us posted.

RE: New adventures in urban gardening....

What a great space! Can't wait for the after shots!

RE: New adventures in urban gardening....

When I left the apartment where I'd gardened for 13 years, I brought some of my favorites with me across town. I know I'll change things around as the years go on, but I went ahead and put some things in the ground last fall.

This bed, with Royal Standard hosta, Palace Purple heuchera, sweet woodruff and lilies-of-the-valley is coming up nicely this spring.

I had a bag of "soil conditioner" -- essentially pine bark fines -- that I used as a mulch. At the upper right corner you can barely see some of the white plastic kitchen bags that contain many of the plants I moved but didn't get planted. they're not waiting for new homes and are growing right thru the bags!

RE: New adventures in urban gardening....

Keeping my fingers crossed for good weather and sturdy knees this weekend. Picking up some mulch tomorrow and some compost from a friend, and hope to put in a lot of plants over the weekend. With any luck the rain will hold off until Sunday afternoon and then settle in all my babies.

My new patron saint -- Hosta Ganesh -- remover of garden obstacles!

(I can't take credit for the image, which I found on Mobshare.)

RE: New adventures in urban gardening....

Whew! I got the bed right in front of the porch finally weeded, turned over, and shifted thru. It's about 4' x 10' and once I did all the rough work, I sat down and crumbled every dirt clod, picked out most of the rocks, all the glass I found, and a ton of weird stuff. (Hypodermics, anyone?)

I got it planted with several tomatoes, peppers, herbs and perennials. And of course, the weather -- which has been balmy and spring lick -- is turning cold again. Frost warnings tonight, and nights in the mid 30's for much of this week.

fingers crossed, and I'll post a picture once I see what the damage is!

RE: New adventures in urban gardening....

One of the things I like most about my new place is the neighbors. I moved in last August, and folks were very understanding that I didn't have everything together yet. So different folks took turns mowing my little patch of scrubby grass for me.

This spring I decided I needed to take care of it myself. As luck would have it, the previous owner left a reel lawn mower in the basement, so I brought it up and took a run at the grass.

Things were going okay -- I was more bludegeoning the grass into submission that actually cutting it -- until I tried to mow the patch to the left of the walkway, where the grass is especially thick and the terrian very uneven. After maybe a swipe or two the whole thing collapsed. Bad enough there's no bolts in the handle, I'd lost one of the bolts that holds the reel to the frame! And a 45 minute search didn't turn it up.

Not surprisingly, a call around to lawn mower repair places (blades need to be sharpened, too) found all of them booked. And then it occurred to me -- who needs a lawn mower?

Meet my little friend....

Looking forward to cleaning up Friday morning!

RE: New adventures in urban gardening....

Now your talkin! I like the simplistic nature to it. I might have to get me one of those?

RE: New adventures in urban gardening....

You know, for the little space I've got, it makes more sense -- especially since there are stone walls on either side of my property that need more detailed trimming anyway.

The funny thing is I got my little friend home Wednesday night -- to discover one of my neighbors had come over during the day and mowed for me. (I love my neighbors!)

But it did all the edges, and on Friday, I used it to clear the space between my house and the fence, that I never could have gotten a lawn mower down. And used it to cut weeds in one of the beds I hadn't yet touched down to about 6". Just the right height to pull the weeds, but a lot more accessible.

I'm loving it so far, altho' I think it's going to take some practive to cut a relatively even height over a patch of grass. Luckily, I've got nothing but time....

RE: New adventures in urban gardening....

Rats -- I seem to have deleted the "before" pictures! But I made progress over the last two weekends -- digging up, shifting, double shifting and mulching another 6' x 12' foot bed in the back of the house. Also got the table and chairs back out of winter hibernation.

A neighbor came in while I was taking trash out the alley gate and "toured" the garden. She complained I was putting all the pretty stuff in the back -- she wants it out front where everyone can enjoy it!

I'm having to put one bed on hold for the time being, waiting to see if I need to dig up and replace a gutter drain. But I picked up a lot of great shade stuff for that bed at the Central Ohio garden swap this weekend and I can't wait to get going!

More pictures tomorrow.

RE: New adventures in urban gardening....

Still mulching and planting -- looking forward to a two day weekend to work in the yard.

Here's the before of my patio -- what was creatively described by the realtor as a "parking space".

Simply taking out the leftover fencing and sweeping the cement -- not to mention setting out the wonderful housewarming gift from my parents -- makes it much more hospitable! I'm hoping to get in a raised brick bed along the fence to the right, but it's already a very nice spot for morning coffee.

RE: New adventures in urban gardening....

You are doing a great job! Thanks for sharing. Here is a shot of my one year old vineyard. Out of the 12 bare root vines purchased, 7 lived, and I have a ton of cuttings now, so next year this should be full of vines. The containers you see are blueberries, figs, citrus. There will be about 60 more vines in containers in other parts of the yard also, next year.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Here it is May 2010 early morning. The right side gets morning and midday sun, and the left side gets midday and afternoon sun.

It's extremely hot here, so all the plants are on a drip system. There are two systems. One for the vines and blueberries, and the other for the figs and citrus.

The chair at the end is the Vineyard Chair, and it's a great place to sit and enjoy coffee in the morning, and a glass of wine in the afternoon.


RE: New adventures in urban gardening....

now a days various tips as well as techniques are being used with the help of which gardening can be done in much better way....

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