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Kitchen Garden Part 2: Grounded In Reality

August 20th, 2009 at 11:31 am

A couple weeks ago I did an entry called "Kitchen Garden Dreaming":

[url]http://scfr.savingadvice.com/2009/08/02/kitchen-garden-...

Welcome to the new Kitchen Garden Part 2: Grounded In Reality.

Dreaming is great. That's the phase of any plan when you can let your imagine run wild and ... really THINK BIG. But sooner or later (hopefully) reality sinks in and you make decisions that are, tho inspired by the dream, based on what is practical. (For example, when I was furniture shopping, I did allow myself flights of fancy, looking at $4K dining room sets and ostrich leather Williams-Sonoma beds ... yes, really Smile ... It helped me crystalize in my mind what I wanted ... but eventually I came down to earth and bought pieces that would allow me to furnish an entire house attractively for less than what one of the dreamy pieces of furniture would have cost.)

So, in order to avoid having to get permission from the HOA (which would slow down the process and probably mean not being able to start a garden this fall), to GREATLY reduce startup costs, to eliminate worry about how our automatic sprinkler system would fit with a veggie garden, and to take in to account that fact that I am still a newbie gardener and don't know how successful I am going to be, I have decided to go for a modified container garden.

Yesterday I got a large & attractive container on clearance at Lowe's. This morning I planted green onions & a romaine mix in it. I also plan to repurpose 3 plastic black industrial-looking trash cans by having DH drill holes in the bottom and bury them half-way underground (camoflauged from the street by some taller bushes) and I will plant 2 tomatoe & 1 okra vine in those. In addition to keeping weeds at bay, I'm hoping the containers will be tall enough to keep the rabbits out of them and (with sufficient supervision from us) keep the dog from doing his business on the plants we plan to eat from! If for some reason the HOA objects (which I don't think they will because I am really trying to make things attractive/hidden/blended with the rest of the landscaping) I can easily move the containers. And if I fail miserably, I will not have invested a lot of money in this project. (I'll give you a total once the tomatoe & okra plants are in the ground.) Also, the "pretty" container I bought can easily be repurposed for flowers.

Somewhere on-line I read about an article in a Japanese magazine that taught how to start growing Daikon in bags, and I've asked DH to ask one of his friends in Japan who is an avid gardener if he can tell us how to do that.

I'll probably add a couple little containers of fresh herbs on the front steps ... not only consumable, but will provide a nice fragrance when people come to the door.

If I succeed with my modified and greatly scaled-back plan, I'll probably add a few more containers and scatter them in with the rest of the landscaping. And if I prove to have a green thumb and decide it's worth the cost and effort ... who knows ... the full-blown kitchen garden dream may still some day become reality.

3 Responses to “Kitchen Garden Part 2: Grounded In Reality”

  1. lartiga Says:

    You are off to s good start and I admire your creative and frugal solutions. Can't wait to see pictures of your future bounty!

  2. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    I hope you have much fun, satisfaction, and success with this! Smile ...Okra vine--Is that an Asian vegetable, probably actually a gourd, the one also sometimes called loofa? If so, it gets really big. I've let it grow up trees. If it is the African origin vegetable that is famously used in gumbo, then it is not a vine, but a tall plant that grows on a central stem to about 7 ft tall. It almost looks like a scrappy tree. If that is the one, it is good to blend in with landscaping as it makes large, lovely cream colored flowers with a purple center.

  3. baselle Says:

    Best to start small, learn, and let your new hobby progress naturally than go big and ambitious, fail, and set yourself up so that you don't even want to go outside in your yard.
    The first year is always figuring out where the sunny spots, the warm spots, and the dry spots are - with a container garden you can move the plant to its best spot.
    Definitely keep a notebook - write down and draw out your microclimates, note what plants worked where and what didn't, what kept dog from doing his business, etc. Those cages with the wheels really helped us move our containers. They are heavy when wet!

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