Monday, July 26, 2010

The Baltimore Community Garden Plot - No Longer Experimental

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The Garden after 6 weeks of temperatures between 94 and 112. Not too shabby!
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So we're only halfway through the summer and I'm ready to call the Community Gardening Experiment a success based on the measure of "was it worth it?" Simply in monetary terms,
my haul of greens, herbs, and veggies has now exceeded my $30 annual rent on the plot. And if you consider that I would have "probably" grown elsewhere (my yard), and spent the same money on seed and plants, plus another $25-50 on compost and manure, then, once again, I've made my money back. You can see my progress by clicking here, or by clicking on the tabs for "community garden" or "gardening" at the end of this post.

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Above: Last monday's haul - a good mix!

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Last thursday's haul - that's a hefty 3 days' worth of veggies!

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I grew horsemint (Monarda citriodora) (above) from seed and was not disappointed. The bees and butterflies love this funky relative of Bee Balm. I planted several plants in our yard, which all died in the poor soil. These plants had the benefit of being planted in nearly pure compost and manure.

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I'm having a similar experience with my Bee Balms this year. The varieties planted in my yard - Jakob Kline, Raspberry Wine, and Fireball, are all suffering or dead. The variety (Pink Supreme-photo above) that was planted in high quality soil in my garden is growing like crazy - I look forward to splitting the plant this fall!

Thanks for stopping by & checking out the garden!

5 comments:

Rabid Outdoorsman said...

WOW, you garden came out great! We have a couple community gardens in our area and thy seem to be very popular. People I have talked to say it is a fantastic way to meet other gardeners and share ideas . . . must have been what life was like before the internet. lol!

Anonymous said...

Nice harvest!
I should hopefully get a few nice Brandywine tomatoes later this week. I pulled my bush beans on account of bean beetles. My peppers are way behind yours, although I have one fruit developing. Zucchini went nuts, but now looks like I have borers. Carrots and beets are doing well. It's a pretty mixed bag for me this year.

mike

Swamp Thing said...

RO - you are so right. And Baltimore's gardens each have very different demographics. Mine happens to be dominated by old Black guys - #1 they know a LOT about gardening, and #2 - they have some great stories about farm life, hunting, and fishing in the 1930s-1960s. It's amazing to remember that "everybody has a story." And many of their stories span continents. Like you said..."life before internet."

Swamp Thing said...

Mike - I've done very well but there have been setbacks for sure. I planted peppers early (the ones I started under the lights) and they were hit with a freak late frost, followed by cutworms one week later.

I planted 6 cucumber plants, and 5 died. The 5th is not producing cukes yet, that I can see.

And I'm starting to see with my carrots and sweet potatoes that "fine earth" I hauled into my planters was not deep enough - they are hitting the crappy gravelly clay soil below and just stopping.

So, it's not perfect. But for a first year venture, I'll call it a success!

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