Sunday, April 25, 2010


This weekend is the first that I haven't done something garden related since my last soil preperation post. When Kirsten and I started this garden, we didn't think it would take up about a month just to get it planted. We were so careful to prepare the soil buy the seedlings and seeds, by the time it came to planting we were a little lax and just kind of threw the stuff in the ground. The plants seem to be surviving regardless of our planting haste.

Kirsten and I joke how this gardening venture is a bit like parenting. I hope our gardening partnership works out because if it doesn't visitation rights and weeding responsibilities could get messy, not to mention divvying up the harvest. Just in case something goes awry here are some picture that show of us taking care of our plants, but please notice who is actually watering:)

Here's what we planted (that I can remember):
Serrano Peppers
Red Bell Peppers
Green Beans
Collards and Kale
Egg Plant
Butternut Squash
Pumpkins ( we don't really know how these will turn out but decided to give it a try)

Seedlings that we got at a community garden. They were so cheap. After we bought these we picked up some seeds a Home Depot and our were so much cheaper than theirs. We celebrated like and good Americans by spending the savings on brunch:)

Me giving the crucial nectar of life (water) to the plants.

Kirsten "taking care" of the plants

A newly planted garden.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Gardening: Soil Test and Prep

There are two garden plots in the backyard of the house I am currently living in Atlanta, crying out to be planted. I heard their cries and solicited the help of my coworker and office-mate Kirsten to help me plant a garden this season. Neither of us have extensive gardening experience. Even though my family had a garden growing up, my memories recall the weeding more then the preparation or planting. Fortunately, we work in the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity at the CDC and are surrounded by people with who know and know people who know.



Last week we started our gardening efforts in earnest. We bought a soil testing kit and tested our soil to see if it was conducive to planting. While the PH was neutral, it was very low in Potassium, Nitrogen and Phosphate. That meant that yesterday we headed over to Farmer D's for fertilizer and 14 bags of compost. Even though my little Mazda has made it from Utah to Michigan with all my belongings, and from Michigan to Atlanta packed to the brim, these 14 bags of compost provided it's greatest test of strength yet.

Soil Test Results

Car of compost

Yesterday morning Kirsten and I set to work incorporating all this compost and fertilizer into our two plots. I think the before and after pictures demonstrate well enough how strenuous the task was. Lucky for us it was a beautiful morning and we are much closer to being ready to plant our garden.