Mar 16, 2010
So, the other day before work I decided to walk through the back yard instead of the usual front entrance of our apartment building. To my utmost surprise, I saw daffodil buds emerging from the frozen, sad dirt!(well maybe they’re tulips, I’m not so sure)
Anyway, this prompted me to immediately draw up plans for this year’s garden. We moved into this apartment in the middle of April last year, so I really didn’t start the garden until the end of May. In Chicago, that doesn’t really fly. The growing season here is so short, and starting seeds indoors in the middle of May means no planting until the damn middle of June or whatever. So by fall, we still had unripe Tomatoes on the vine (which made for some yummy fried green tomatoes, but a waste nonetheless)The picture below was taken in late May of last year of some little tomatoes I had started from seed indoors.
So. I’m determined to make the most of the summer months. This year, the Cullerton garden will be a 3 phase event:
First Phase (Mid March-End of May):
- Swiss Chard
From What I’ve read from the Illinois Extensions web site, those veggies do well in the early season. So here’s hoping! Last year, we still had snow in April, but for the past week it’s been in the 50s (!!!) So, hopefully we won’t have a deep freeze or anything.
So, Phase 2 (May-August?):
- green beans
- green peppers
- serrano peppers
- flowers up the wazoo (daisies, sunflowers, zinnias etc)
- HERBS! (cilantro, oregano, rosemary, dill, basil, thyme)
- will be much like phase 1
So. I am PUMPED. I’ll be making a lot of changes this year. Last year I stupidly planted acorn squash and cucumbers in the middle of the garden. The patches have an 8 foot diameter, so as you can imagine they totally took over. I shan’t be doing that this year. We just don’t have enough space.The picture below is last year’s corn a couple weeks old.
I also had two rows of corn last year, and again- that’s something I just won’t grow again. We only had 10 ears yield, which was so not worth all the space they took up.
The yard is just trashed right now. Yesterday I spent a couple hours picking up trash and dog poop. Lot’s of Mexican candy wrappers, cigarettes, Lays chip bags, and broken glass from all the alley bums. See nasty picture below.
So here I am, it’s mid March and I am antsy to start working in the dirt. Yesterday I started my phase 2 veggie seeds indoors, and can’t wait to transplant them in (sigh) two months.