seeds

The Garden Spot, Week 15

If I’ve learned anything about small scale gardening in the last 15 weeks, its that you really do get what you give. This past weekend I attacked my garden for a few hours, pruning and weeding, and saying goodbye to some bolting radish plants and sad looking lettuce. It was a rewarding process, as now my garden is in tip top shape.

I now know which plants really thrive in the space/light I give them — summer squashes, basil, kale, and sunflowers. I decided that I can never have too much basil, so I combined some of my squash plants in a larger container, and used their old pots to plant some more of the delicious green stuff (pesto for days!).

I also did a fair bit of harvesting, which I cooked up that same night in the style of a salad from my beloved Anella. All fresh, all local, all totally grown by me. It was truly a beautiful thing.

Are you eating anything from your garden yet? I want to hear all about it!

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The Garden Spot, Week 13

I admitted in my very first post that I was not necessarily a skilled gardener. I am definitely a novice, and someone who is prone to mishaps, or rather, serious missteps along the way. This week proved that theory, as I cruelly neglected my little balcony garden while caught up in other life things, and noticed only yesterday how very bad it’s gotten.

The rain has drowned many of my new flowers, leaving a small swamp for me to deal with. My radishes have sprouted flowers, which I am not sure they are supposed to do, and my lettuces have straight up perished.

I am going away this weekend for a wedding (’tis the season) and I am at a loss at how to solve all of these problems before I take off tomorrow morning.

Leave your condolences in the comments, I need as much support as I can get!

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The Garden Spot, Week 11

Nobody likes a wilted basil!

An appropriate title for this week’s column might be, “Sad, Droopy Things”. I mean, wasn’t that what we all were this past week?

The H was O, as they say, and we were all wondering how this could possibly be just the beginning of summer (or, technically, still the end of spring).

Pathetic.

My plants were no exception, and as I checked on them this morning, I noticed that many of them had shriveled a little under the stress of the humidity. My most promising squash seems to have deflated, turning in on itself in an almost painful display of undernourishment.

Don’t worry little guy, I got you! This week is all about making sure the basic needs of my baby seeds get met.

How are your plants taking the heat? Tweet me @everydaycaitlin

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The Garden Spot, Week 6

Last week was magnificent for gardening! The day after my trip to Hayseed’s Big City Farm Supply I decided to really give my balcony garden some of the TLC it deserves. I sat outside for about three hours in the sun and really went to town on my plants.

I started by re-potting a lot of the ones that looked like they were getting too big or crowded for their pots. I split the summer squashes that were growing together, and each got it’s own generously sized home. I weeded out some of the sadder looking plants that I didn’t think would recover, and freshened up the whole operation with a generous dousing of seaweed.

The most rewarding thing I did was finally get my garden organized and labeled. I don’t know why I waited so long to do this – especially when, let’s be honest – I didn’t even know what some of the plants were after they started to grow. But I think I figured it out, and my greenhouse is now as organized as a library.

 

 

I’m looking forward to seeing what happens in these cowpots. So far they are a little quiet, but it’s only been four or five days since I planted them.

It’s going to rain all weekend, so I am glad I still have the cover on my greenhouse so I can avoid over-watering. I’m hoping for at least one warm day, as I picked up some Brandywine tomato seeds and I am eager to get planting!

How is your garden coming along? Got any garden/Greenpoint related tips for me? Tweet them at @everydaycaitlin

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The Garden Spot, Week 5

Last week I shared my excitement about Hayseed’s Big City Farm Supply opening up like, 3 blocks from my apartment. I finally got to head down there today and check it out – and it was everything I had hoped it would be and more. More being the fact that I got to hold this rabbit named Carrot!

The shop itself is airy and bright, with heaps of seeds, soil, pots, books, shovels, bee keeping equipment, and of course, bunny raising supplies. If you are feeling a bit blue today, this is what you should do. Go down to Hayseed’s and hug the rabbit.

 

 

 

 

Megan Paska, one of the owner’s of Hayseed’s and creator of BrooklynHomesteader, was more than helpful when it came to answering all the customer’s questions. She told me about the reasons behind opening the shop (to get affordable supplies to eager urban farmers), as well as what some of the most popular products are (books and seeds, no surprise there!).

Hayseed’s is not just a shop, they are also growing their own garden in the lot next door. This is quite a sight next to the big rigs and gas stations that line McGuinness Avenue.

I left with a few lbs. of dirt, a set of CowPots and some hot pepper and cilantro seeds (definitely a Mexican food theme happening in my garden) for less than $20.

All in all, Hayseed’s is an excellent addition to the neighborhood, and I look forward to many visits over the next couple months. They are only open through June, so go check them out while you still can!

Hayseed’s is located at 218 India Street in Greenpoint.

How are your plants coming along? Let me know at @everydaycaitlin

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The Garden Spot, Week 1

This is one woman’s journey with small-space gardening in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Here is an appropriately corny picture of me with some flowers.

So let me start off with some back-story: Last year my boyfriend and I moved from one apartment on Eckford, to another apartment directly across the street. We upgraded from a small ground level two-bedroom (that we shared with a roommate), to a modern monstrosity with floor to ceiling windows and the tiniest bit of outdoor space. The first thing I did that spring was set up a garden on our balcony.

By garden I mean, I bought some pots, threw some seeds in the dirt, and waited. Occasionally I would go to Sprout and buy a new plant and mix it in with rest and wait to see what happened. By the end of the summer our balcony looked like a wilted graveyard and I had one sad sweet potato that sort of resembled a swollen thumb. I was envious of all the Brooklyn/Urban/Small Space Gardeners who had buckets of squash and full heirloom tomatoes to cook dinner with. We still had to go out and buy produce at Key Foods when we needed it.

At the end of the season all I knew was that, next year I will be doing it RIGHT.

So I present to you: The Garden Spot. This is a weekly column where I will share the ups and downs of gardening in a small space, specifically in Greenpoint. I will buy all my supplies at local stores, stay abreast of local farming/gardening news, create and share recipes from my garden and the local farmers markets, and generally provide information for all you gardening newbies out there. Like I said, I failed miserably last year, so I make no claims that this year will be any more fruitful. However, sharing it with you will hopefully prove fun and informative for all of us.

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