Community Garden: March

I’m behind on posting photos of the garden, mainly because I have a very slow computer at home who discourages me from loading stuff from my iPhone. I love the dear old girl, but she’s nearing retirement age, for sure. Here’s a March recap. We’ve been getting a good bit of rain, and the rain collectors are full. My dad said that in his experience, rainwater consistently grows his lawn so much better than city water. I haven’t gardened before, so I don’t know the difference, but it’s nice to know that all the water we’re using from our cisterns is straight from the sky, not treated by the system with any chlorine (at least in this incarnation).


This is our flowering broccoli. Apparently, Google tells me, the harvesting window for broccoli is quite short, like 4 days, and after that, the little green tips begin to flower. Richie, in whose back yard this garden resides, told me that all the little green bits at the end of the spears are really flowers that just have not yet bloomed. Who knew?? In any case, we missed our window, and we’ve got half broccoli, half yellow flowers. Raw, the flowers taste like broccoli. It’s a little freaky.



These are our potatoes, which seem to be humming along. When these get to about 6 inches tall, Redenta’s says to add three more inches of soil, and so on as they grow. That’s a sugar snap pea plant there next to them. The cage is really just to encourage the little thing to grow…not taking off quite yet.



These three plants are a fabulous new addition from Jen. She planted us some yellow squash (not sure of the variety), and the seed packet said to plant 6 per hill. They sprouted really quickly, and they’ve stayed about this size for the last couple of weeks. They’re supposed to vine out pretty big, so they take up a bit of room, but it’ll be worth it here in a little while.


The tree growing on part of our plot just exploded, and it hangs in our faces when we go through the gate. We still don’t know what it is…anyone?


Here are Richie and Perl, such a sweet little Cabbage Patch Kid. She’s got pink eye this week. He’s such a natural gardener and parent. He carries her around, sometimes in a pouch, like it’s the most natural thing in the world, talking to her as he waters and weeds. Their son has a little watering can and helps sometimes. It’s nice to have him out there – he gives us tips and answers our questions.


The middle part here is doing pretty well overall. I’m a little concerned about the spinach, because it seems like they should be a bit bigger by now. I’m pretty sure they’re too crowded, but I don’t know how to fix that problem. I don’t know how it works – do you pull up some and replant elsewhere, or do you just rip some out? And if you’re just supposed to rip some out to make room for the rest to grow larger, what’s the point of planting that many in the first place? The radish rows seem to be functioning fine that close together.


In fact, I pulled one up to see how it was doing, and it seems like they were almost but not quite ready. I washed off and ate the one I pulled, and it tasted like a radish! I couldn’t believe it! I made a radish! For someone who cannot sew on a button, this is a major accomplishment.


Jen also planted us some wildflowers along the plot’s front row inside the cement blocks. I’m sure there are some weeds in there somewhere, but I’m pretty sure these are wildflower sprouts.




Two weekends ago, Jon and I began what we didn’t realize was going to be a major undertaking: clearing out the space between the plot and the fence to make room for a small bed for climbing plants like beans and cucumbers. MAN. The soil was nearly half rocks, and breaking it up was really tough! Then we had a ditch, basically, after all the rocks and roots had been removed.We cleared off most of the stuff growing on the fence and all the weeds on the ground. It was really bushy back there, and altogether, it took about 5 hours, which we were really not expecting. Jon went back last weekend and put in this bed, using bricks found in the yard (the woman they’re renting from is the biggest pack rat I’ve ever seen, including random debris like giant piles of bricks and roof tiles). We haven’t planted yet, and we need to fill in the slope a little, but we’ll get to that eventually.



We’re still having so much fun watching our little garden grow. It’s funny (and a little embarrassing), but as urban dwellers working around computers all day, never having grown anything of our own before, we find ourselves just standing there looking at it a good amount of the time we’re there! It’s just so pretty and peaceful out there. I never thought of Oak Cliff as either of those things, but it seems I was wrong.


One Response

  1. i think that vine/tree thing might be wisteria that got a really late start, but i’m not sure. the leaves look right, though.

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