My garden is back in full effect. In the last few months, I’ve been in the flow of life and haven’t been able to get to the garden like I would like to, but I finally decided that it was time and planted seeds again.
I find so much inspiration being out and about and around the city seeing other people’s gardens and use of some really small space. The other day, while in North Park, a family had food growing all over in their front yard; they had raised beds, and from the looks of it, they converted an old bunk bed and added shelves and were growing food all over it in pots. In Imperial Beach, someone took a car trailer and turned it into a food growing space. They had vines of pumpkins growing all over the bed.
I went to LA a few weeks ago to visit a friend and she had about a 6-foot high tomato plant growing out of concrete next to her pool! It has become so big that it has completely taken over what used to be an outdoor eating table. Apparently, someone was eating at the table and dropped a single seed from their tomato in the crack of the concrete, and from there, this beautiful plant has emerged and is getting bigger by the day. You can’t even see soil. It’s amazing.
I’ve been thinking of gardening as a really complex process and that has kept me away, but I’m learning that it can be as simple or complex as I want it to be. Here at home, we have just been tossing seeds in the backyard and food has been growing nicely out there. There was an avocado pit tossed out there about a year ago from lunch and now there is a healthy avocado tree growing. I was going to make kale chips, so I soaked sunflower seeds. But, I ended up getting too busy to use them, so they sprouted, which made them a waste for my chips. We took the big batch of them and just threw them in the dirt in the backyard and now there are sunflowers growing. So easy and simple.
I resurrected my raised bed. If you remember from my first article, I started a raised bed to grow my food in. I kept forgetting to water it and tend to it, so eventually drought and bugs took over and everything died. In Oceanside you can go to the city and get organic soil that they make using the city’s compost, so I went and picked some up and started my bed. I also visited the La Jolla Farmers Market and grabbed some transplants to add in there too, so I can already have food going.
The transplants I got are bell peppers, Thai chilies, three heads of lettuce, habanero peppers, and cucumbers. Unfortunately, I have already killed the habaneros from not watering them, but I am doing my best to bring them back to life. As far as seeds go, I planted sage, cilantro, and basil in pots. In my bed, I planted broccoli, rainbow chard, and snap peas. The lettuce is ready to eat and I intend to make a fresh salad with it. The lady who sold them to me said that as long as I take the leaves off on the outside, they will grow new leaves a few more times. I have one beautiful bell pepper growing and I’m planning a tasty dish with that.
I woke up this morning at 5:30am to water my plants, just as the sun was beginning to rise. That’s the best time to water, so the sun doesn’t heat the water too high and scorch the plants. I’ll do my best to keep that routine up. If not, then I will water them in the late afternoon.
We have a lot of snails up here, so as a natural pesticide I’m going to use Diatomaceous Earth. It’s a white looking powder that is highly useful in the garden to kill bugs, but, strangely, it is super nutritious for us to eat. I use it for fleas on my pets too. It dries up the shells of fleas and kills them off. For snails, it feels like they are sliding across millions of particles of broken glass, and it ends their life that way. Sounds brutal, but it’s the best organic method I have discovered. As a note, I do try and redirect the snails as much as possible before doing anything to send them tragically to their deaths. Anyways, I recommend doing some research on DE; it’s a great tool to use for you, your pets, and your garden.
Thank you for being a reader of this column. I get people that stop me on the streets asking me about my garden, you are my motivation. It’s been a challenge to keep this going, so I am grateful to you for growing with me and encouraging me to keep going.
Tiffany Janay started out her life following the paved path to achieving the American dream. She spent long days and nights working 9-5’s that never seemed to bring her enough fulfillments, personally and financially. After realizing that the typical path was not going to lead her to where she felt contentment, she made a drastic change to claim creative freedom. She exchanged her mundane and predictable life for a more exciting, nourishing, and unpredictable path. Currently, she expresses her creative freedom through writing, event coordination, lifestyle consulting, and creating marketing and media campaigns at Organic Blood. Follow her movement at www.OrganicBlood.com
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