Frum Outdoorsman: Rare but Possible

The wanderings and adventures of an orthodox Jew

Ghetto gardening

Posted by Frum Hiker on June 16, 2008

About a month ago I planted my garden, I was all excited and it was a fine looking plot of land when I started. Ample sunshine provided by my south east facing location and a chicken wire fence keeping animals out- set the stage for what was supposed to be a lovely garden. So excited was I about this piece of earth, that for the first time I dug ditches and rows and bought seeds instead of small potted plants.

I planted tomato and pepper plants and the rest seeds. Fantasies of all the cool free veggies filled my imagination as I wrestled with worms and weeds for real estate rights in my plot of land. At the end of it all I had planted three long rows of veggies. I had some left over so I decided to experiment with potted plants for the first time as well. I put these on my deck, I felt like they weren’t deep enough but nevertheless I planted basil seeds, an oregano plant and three different tomato plants on the railings of my deck.

Then the lawn grew, and grew until my backyard looked like a wild field, interspersed with garbage thrown by little kids who use the shortcut to the next street through the neighboring backyard. My garden was robbed of sunshine because my landlord whom I have never met does not cut the lawn nor have a working mower. Its cool to look at, but try having a game of Frisbee in the back yard. My garden is now full of weeds and low lying plants, some of them have fruits on them, but they are so small.

My potted plants on the other hand are enormous. The tomato plants are tall and healthy and sprouting flowers which means the tomatoes will be here soon. My basil is popping up healthy from my seeds and the oregano produces loads of smelly green leaves. So yesterday I decided I should transfer my garden veggies to the deck for sunshine purposes. Luckily my backyard is full of surprises and I found a bunch of things that could be used for pots.

I may call this ghetto gardening but I found one of those blue baby pools buried beneath garbage and leaves and decided to use it as a garden for my deck. I stabbed drainage holes in the bottom with a pairing knife and filled it with loads of dirt which was a big sweaty, shirtless mud streaked stomach job and am debating which plants get to go in. I also found some old recycling bins which could be used as pots.

If I get enough tomatoes I may even sell them, imagine the money I could make with this whole tomato scare going on and mine are organic as well.

8 Responses to “Ghetto gardening”

  1. Great idea using an old baby pool, and I thought I was the king of using odd items to plant in. I hadn’t thought of using that as decent sized container garden.

  2. Hesh said

    I am just wondering what or how much I could plant in it. Any ideas. Its only about 10 inches deep and 3 feet across

  3. valerialexandra said

    Way to go for ghetto gardening. I’m gardening in kind of a ghetto too. It’s kind of funny imagining what my section 8 neighbors think of me as they see me through the wire fence. I’d like to think that maybe they’d be inspired to give some love to plants some day too. Maybe if I ever see them in their backyard I’ll offer some of my veggies when they’re ready. I’ve planted way too many tomatoes

    Anyways, I’d suggest that next year you plant your seedlings indoors first, in small flats, or paper cups, to give them proper care and attention. Then you can transplant them outdoors when they’re big enough to handle the great outdoors alone. There’s a reason nurseries exist. Birds and bugs can eat the seeds or seedlings before they’re strong enough to resist. When I’ve planted directly first, it’s not worked out too well. Plus prayers and blessings over the plants could help too.

  4. redhead said

    Wow – sounds like an adventure! lol.
    Great idea using the pool.
    And Valerialexandra is right about starting your plants in flats and then transplating. That’s what I do too!

  5. Frum Hiker said

    Good news is my spinach is popping up inside my baby pool and the other stuff I cannnot really tell what it is.- But I am tempted to try and plant as much stuff on my deck as possible because it gets so much more sunshine then my in ground garden. Tomatoes are on the vine and I am losing patience with them turning green.

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