wanna-be farmers day twenty-eight: they’re growing!

day 28
We are trying to become backyard and balcony farmers. Read previous posts here.

This growing food thing is all about patience, isn’t it? That’s not one of my strong suits. While every little pot is finally producing little seedlings I’m longing for the day it finally warms up enough to get them outside. Which is kind of crazy, considering we don’t have a place to put them yet. A raised bed, in some form or another, be it concrete or wood or simple plastic bags, will have to take shape this weekend and I’ll have to get my ass in high gear to make it happen. Mother’s Day might be appropriate.

The growing and planting season in the midwest generally falls between April 15th and May 15th, and I recall Mother’s Day being a day of digging holes and filling them with ferns (not sure if there was anything else, to be honest). We would grab a red wagon and tromp a few blocks over to visit Paul and Paulette at Kellner’s Greenhouse in the Riverwest neighborhood of Milwaukee to purchase our plants. Kellner’s recently re-opened after a hiatus and if you’re anywhere near Cream City make sure to take a peek. Think of me and my brother and sister running through the various greenhouse aisles with a dog or two at our feet. And parrots. White parrots. Birds were the first things you saw– and heard– when walking into the quiet, kind of dusty garage-like structure that held large desks for accounting purposes. I remember the smell of that building like it was yesterday.

Anyways. Enough nostalgia.

day 28

I brought up bricks up there. Concrete, rather. I’ve kind of got my heart set on a cinderblock raised bed in lieu of a wooden one. Perks: no nailing, no drilling. Downsides: it might be more expensive in the long run, we’d have to water the beds more often due to the porous nature of the concrete, I might break my back loading and unloading all of the cinderblocks we would need for the project. Another cheap idea is to pop everything into buckets and make it all one big container garden. Should have thought of this before we planted, huh?

day 28

No matter. I’m counting on it to all come together. Cross those fingers for me.

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Related Posts
Wanna-Be Farmers: Day One
Wanna-Be Farmers Day Six: Failure & Pea Shoots
Wanna-Be Farmers Day Fourteen: Huge Peas & Little Basil


8 responses to “wanna-be farmers day twenty-eight: they’re growing!

  1. yippee for spring! I have lots o’ seedlings that NEED to get in the ground here in the Pacific NW!

    do you REALLY want to schlep cinder blocks? it will take a LOT of cinder blocks to make any decent sized beds.

    Grow bags are the new gardening ‘thing’ they are made out of some sort of fabric — you can google it. “my” brainstorm is to grow things in those reuseable fabric grocery bags that you can buy for .50 or so. It’s a pretty similar fabric & should work fine for the season. Line ’em up all together & you have a raised bed garden & it shouldn’t look tacky if you do them all in a row & hide the writing! I’ve thought about doubled (or tripled) up paper bags as well. You could not move them at all once planted, but they should hold up for the season (haven’t tried this, so don’t take it for gospel).

    You work at a restaurant, no? I bet they have so many 5 gal buckets that they would almost pay you to take them away….. those can be doubled up, holes drilled in one, set inside the other with some sort of wicking material to make a self watering container (a HUGE plus in hot, midwest summers!)….. check out this cool link http://www.globalbuckets.org/

    anyway, point is, I’m not ‘voting’ for the cinder blocks (been there, done that, ain’t doin’ it again!)


    • You win, Sasha! I think it’s looking like containers are the way to go. Hope you got your stuff in the ground over the weekend!

  2. Just wanted to share with you: when I first went to buy peat pots to start my seeds the store I went to was out and instead I bought this plastic try full of those compressed grow pellets which also has a clear plastic cover to create mini greenhouse. It wasn’t what I wanted but the seeds I’ve started in there have all sprouted literally overnight and seem to be growing before my eyes -seriously! I transfered the larger sprouts to peat pots recently and started some more seeds in the little greenhouse and then also a few in peat pots. The ones in the greenhouse continue to amaze me, the new ones in peat pots are moving really slow and a few haven’t sprouted at all. If you can find some kind of clear plastic hood for your trays (or try to build something using plastic wrap -just to keep the moisture and heat in) you might be surprised at how much more quickly they grow.

    • That’s so good to know! I didn’t want to use the plastic ones I saw either but I’m so glad to know how plants grow when using them. I think I might try to cover them this week. This certainly explains why the peat pots I placed closest to our window are growing much slower than the ones in a warmer location. Thanks so much!

  3. My whole garden is in big plastic pots, and a couple of discarded recycling bins. Not the sexiest thing, but works well. Non-porous is definitely your friend, even plastic dries out really quickly in the heat.
    Dirt gets surprisingly expensive, but definitely get the container soil, not garden soil. Have you looked into vermicomposting? Small-sized composting with worms.

    • Emily! I’m glad you brought up worms! My dad just dropped off two five gallon buckets of compost with worms inside. They’re adorable. Can’t wait to see how they make my plants all big and strong. šŸ™‚

  4. Pingback: wanna-be farmers day forty-seven: still not in the ground | urban casita

  5. Pingback: wanna-be farmers: day who cares? | urban casita

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