Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Sowing the Seeds

Last night we began serious work on Goal #43; planting a harvestable garden. We rented plots this year in the Bangor Community Garden -- (facebook page). This is a wonderful program started last year with the efforts of the Cooperative Extension at the University of Maine, and the City of Bangor - it recycles an old, abandoned lot close to downtown and utilizes the elbow grease of volunteers and donated supplies and equipment of local vendors to build 4x8' raised beds which are then rented for the very reasonable rate of $25/season. This is a blessing for those of us who live in apartments downtown with no land of our own to cultivate.

Robb and I each rented a plot and set to work last night in MSPaint to create some crude sketches of our gardens. They will both grow edibles but his will be much more scenic and beautiful than mine (I'm just too practical to forsake tomatoes and zucchini for decorative appeal!).

Robb's Plan (Not sure what's going in the corner, yet.)

My (messy but bountiful) Plan
After mapping our plots we set to work planting seedlings. Better late than never, I suppose! I made these seedling cups out of newspaper, inspired by a post on Pinterest. You make them by wrapping newspaper around the top of a straight-sided glass, tucking the free end of the paper into the inside of the cup, sliding the cup out and then tamping down the paper in the middle (I used the bottom of the cup for this; worked great).

I am lucky that my straight-sided glass is exactly the same size as the inside of a canning jar - so I was able to use my canning funnel to help slide soil into the cups, mess-free.

We also save and recyle egg cartons for planting our smaller indoor starters. It is easy, at planting time, to gently scoop the seedlings out of the egg carton with a soup spoon and set them into their outdoor growing spot.

One of my favorite ideas for the seedlings this year is to use a disposable foil baking dish with a plastic cover. These are inexpensive, fit a good number of seedlings, and act as a greenhouse. Last year I grew negligent and all of my fragile plant babies died because I forgot to water them one day. I added a small cup of water to the inside of each of my greenhouses to keep things nice and moist - just in case!  Place in direct sunlight or under a lamp, and you've got a cheap little seedling sauna! Best of all, the greenhouses will nestle and stack into each other after the growing season is over, can be filled with leftover seed packets or growing containers, and will be easy to store until next year.


How will your garden grow this season?


  1. OMG That is so awesome!!! I can't wait to hear what you create in the kitchen with the herbs and veggies! Yum!

  2. Me either, Carrie! We are very excited to grow our own food to cook and can this year. We've been limping along the last two seasons in window boxes and 5 gallon buckets in our apartment, but the yields are so low it's really not even worth it. But not this year!!