Friday, September 19, 2008

Revitalizing Old Raised Beds

Back in '05, I spent a good amount of time preparing two really nice raised beds on the side of the Liberty St. house. I had a yard and a half of dirt delivered from Geo Growers, and had moderate success that first season growing tomatoes, peppers, and herbs.

The garden circa April 2005.

I moved out of that house in April of '06, leaving my garden behind. After some apartment living, I'm back on Liberty St. I live in a garage apartment directly behind the house I lived in for five years. Four college girls are currently residing there.

Anyway. I made a deal with the girls to get the garden going again, I mean, it is on the side of their house now, right outside someone's bedroom window, which could be kinda creepy... 

A few months ago, Theron, Miranda (photo-documentation...), and I set out to start the revitalization process by sheet mulching the two fallow beds. 

We grabbed some cardboard from work, and a bunch of greens from the free-box in order to do the sheet mulching. To do this, you lay cardboard down over whatever is growing in the beds, and then layer leaf mulch (brown), and the greens (green) over the cardboard. You need to wet the beds frequently in order to promote the decomposition of the green and brown, and the cardboard. 

The next step was to go and get some new dirt to apply to the top. The Butcher and I went down to the Natural Gardener, and bagged up a half yard of dirt (ten bags). This is a great option for good soil, it was only $28.75 for a half yard of dirt. Deal. 

I decided to not apply the soil, or plant last friday due to the impending heavy rains and winds that were going to be coming our way courtesy of good ol' Ike. Yeah, well, that never happened, as we all know, so the following monday was the next best chance to get some seeds in the ground. 

Cappy and the beds.

Cappy came by and helped me with the schleping of the soil, as well as the planting. I got several things planted, but have held off on the lettuce, which I will start inside next week.

Notice how the fertility goddess is still there. 

Here is a list of what's in the ground: cilantro, parsley (curly and flat), sage, thyme, leeks, three types of beets (burpee's golden, chiogga, detriot reds), chard, kale (lacinato and blue dwarf), cabbage, carrots (red dragon, chantenay), turnips, spinach, arugula, radishes, fennel, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, and sweet basil.

I cooked some Indian food as trade for his labor. Barter system rules! It was not so pretty, but I was hungry and didn't care about putting dot's on a plate. 

Potato Curry, Basmati Rice, and Keema Hariyali (lamb with a spinach, mint, cilantro paste, cooked in yogurt -- unreal.)

These dishes are some of my new favorites, especially the the potato curry (recipe coming soon). Nom, nom, nom...

More gardening excitement soon, as well.


Iris said...

Wow! Y'all have been working hard and you've got a TON of stuff in the ground. Very cool!

The mesclun, buttercrunch, romaine, and kale seeds I sowed almost two weeks ago are almost an inch tall.

Two of the broccoli seeds have sprouted, but when the cool weather hit, my dog decided to chill on the rest of them and I couldn't bear to chase her off because she's a Husky and was SO happy to have the cooler weather.

This weekend I'll sow beet and carrot seeds and we'll build a little fence around all of them so the dog can't sleep on them...

Looking forward to any of your Indian food recipes, too.

Sushi for us tonight.

Flapjacks said...

a squirrel got all up in my business, but i don't think it messed any thing up.

TexasDeb said...

Good work and good tip about the relatively inexpensive soil

I threw arugula and mesclun and mizuna out into a barely prepped area (passes for a bed) shortly after reading Iris had(gardening being partly a follow the leader exercise) I have a few starts now showing their second set of leaves.

Beware Flapper - soon enough I will be weaned of my dependence on your foreign arugula at the store!!! Mwahahaha...

Squirrels prolly happy to find a whole new place to bury stuff. Wouldn't you be?

Hey- looking forward to some Indian recipes for real. Love to try some that I know real peeps have successfully made at home.

Friday night is pizza night over here.

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