March 12, 2013

Urban Garden Update: Spring 2013

We mentioned finally getting a chance to get some early spring plantings in and around the outside of the house this weekend. Not too much had changed from the state of things in our winter garden update, so we were so ready to get out and get things going again!

From the winter update, almost everything has died or gone into dormant stages — here's what hung on through the winter: our strawberry plants in our upper planters, the grapevines in the whiskey barrel planters, some dormant mint stems, parsley, sage, thyme and rosemary. We started out by planting two Brussels sprouts starters in our front urn planters.

You might remember we planted them with pepper plants over the summer, so we are excited to see if we can get the Brussels sprouts stalks to grow:

As they get taller, we'll put the wire cage supports around them again this season — how's that for edible landscaping?

Then we headed out back and refreshed the soil in the trough planters on our middle landing in preparation for planting a new batch of spring greens:

We were excited to try out some new heirloom seeds we'd picked up from Little House Green Grocery — USDA organic and non-GMO.

These little trough planters have turned out to be so perfect for us in that we are able to grow just the right amount of greens for the two of us to graze off of throughout the growing seasons. With this spring planting, we went with mustard greens, arugula, spinach and swiss chard greens.

We're looking forward to seeing them fill up and burst with leafy greens in the coming weeks.

We've also got some super leggy carrots and broccoli sproutlings finally doing their thing out on the back table — they'd been inside for about 3 weeks and were just reaching for the sunny windows.

I think we're all happy they're finally able to live outdoors from this point forward and hopefully didn't extend too far to continue growing.

We made 3 more paint bucket planters using the coffee sack method we outlined in this post. Quick refresher — drill drainage holes in the bottom of paint buckets, then wrap them in coffee sacks to hide the fact you're using big ugly paint buckets as planters:

We planted 2 more Brussels sprouts starters in 2 of them and another round of purple garden beans in the 3rd — we just love the way those burlap coffee sacks from Blanchard's Coffee conceal the paint buckets:

We've got some bush peas started in another container — these are cool in that they literally grow a big bush of peas, instead of needing supports:

And since we do love supports (and peas!), we ended up planting another round of regular garden peas in the shallow chicken feeder troughs we turned into teepee planters this time last year:

With the seeds started, once they sprout, we'll be able to attach the teepee supports and get them going again a little later in the season. These shallow and vertical planters have turned out to be a great space saver for us!

In addition to the herbs that made it through the winter, we planted another round of basil, dill, and chives in the wooden box planter we grew them in last year:

I am SO looking forward to being able to just snip what we need here and there from these fresh herb plants again — nothing beats it.

While we were out there, I took care of filling up the bird feeder for the first time in a few months and trimmed up some of the remaining liriope plants in the back:

Did you hear that city birds? It's time to come back and pay us a little visit!

We left things outdoors with a healthy watering and some well wishes for getting off to the right foot this growing season:

As for indoors, we got another avocado seedling started in the windowsill:

And another celery plant started from the base of a grocery store bunch using this method:

We've also got some rosemary cuttings we're trying to propagate hanging out in the window with the rest of the plants which will give all the details on in a future post. AND, we're still waiting patiently for our newly planted horseradish and ginger roots to sprout up through the soil in their respective containers — so we'll keep you posted there as well!

Have you started planting yet? What are you looking forward to in your garden this year — trying anything new?

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  1. I've only recently gotten started in parents have always done it, but I've never seen the point. Pretty flowers, ok whatever. But then I realized I could plant things that I could EAT, and all of a sudden I was interested! This'll be my first year planting basically anything...any tips?

  2. I'm starting my gardening too and just planted my celery in a pot yesterday. :) Unfortunately we just got snow again, so I have to wait a while I think until our frost is done! :) I didn't know peas could be planted so shallowly! Love it!

  3. I love those urn planters, they're gorgeous! I'm also excited to see how your brussels sprouts turn out.

    For new things this season, I'm going to try beets for the first time. They're cute leggy seedlings at the moment, but they have beautiful red stems!

  4. It's so exciting to hear what everyone is planting — we keep waiting to see our first sprouts!


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