Saturday, October 17, 2009

garden in a box


I am 10 (!) years into living in a space with no garden. Periodically, I have thought wistfully about the joys of snipping rosemary for dinner, muddling mojitos when I fancy, and blending up pesto galore, only because I have so much basil I don't know what to do with it.

(Though I never did successfully grow anything when I had wide open spaces available to me, with perhaps the exception of the violets that my best friend and I kept for our 8th grade science project. These we gassed on a weekly basis with pollutants ranging from her brother's deodorant to exhaust from her mother's Buick, though most still managed to fare pretty well. I digress. Delicious basil makes all the difference, as does a boyfriend who happens to have a green thumb.)

Cowboy has a deck. And we learned from the helpful folks at Yamagami's Nursery this summer that there are a great many botanical things you can do with just a deck.

We bought a large box planter, filled it with potting soil and fertilizer (yes it was organic - don't really want to think about what was in it). Then we dispersed within it - sweet basil, crawling rosemary, chives, three heads of red leaf lettuce, a villancho pepper plant, and a strawberry plant.

Care included watering 2 times per week and initial spraying with a diluted soap (Mrs. Meyer's Basil dish soap in low concentration) as a bug repellent for the lettuce. As the herbs grew, the strong scents of basil, chives, and rosemary kept the bugs away.

Summer is over, and our lettuces are gone, but the others are still growing (in fact, our garden in a box is getting crowded!). For next year, I have visions of a Meyer lemon tree, which I know can be planted in a big pot, and a fig tree, which I will have to inquire about.



Beth said...

It sounds so easy to start one. I'm going to try this. Thanks for the tips.

Steph said...

I just started growing stuff too, except indoors! I started with Italian sweet basil and some flat-leaf parsley. So far so good... I <3 not having to buy a whole big bunch of the herbs and then wasting 3/4 of it. Plus I've been feasting on caprese salads all summer =) I don't cook very much with rosemary but I could sure use a dill plant next.

Jackie said...

Don’t’ try the upside down tomato planter, I bought two in the summer and nothing came out.

Chris said...

Have you try to grow scallions in water? Just buy a bunch of scallions at the supermarket with roots still attached. Cut the bottoms off and put in a small container and add water. The roots should be all covered with water. If you cut them low, you can use small rocks to hold the scallion tips. You can also cut the roots higher (about 3 inches) and just keep the rubber band that came around the bulbs on. Keep the container by the window sill. The scallions have to be rinsed a few times as the smells may get too strong. Just clip bits as you need them. You can also plant the bulbs in soil if you prefer stronger taste. You never have to worry about raw scallion bacterial problems you heard in the news.