June 2007


On May 27, I got help from my wonderful Mom and sister Angela. They worked in Plot 22 with me for several hours.  We dug up weeds, turned over soil, planted tomatoes and eggplant, mulched with straw, and watered like crazy. The result was this:

Tomatoes

Isn’t it beautiful? (picture is two days later… no sign of transplant shock!)

We planted:
6 eggplant (Imperial Black Beauty)
44 tomatoes of the following varieties:
– Black from Tula
– Whippersnapper
– Uncle Charlie’s Giant Italian
– Purple Cherokee
– Sophie’s Choice
– Opalka
– Eva Purple Ball
– German Red Strawberry
– Riesentraube

As of June 17th, they’ve more than doubled in size (in all directions!) and will need staking soon. I’ll post update photos as I have them, and will make every effort to track the progress (and taste!) of each variety.

Coming Soon: A big update… (easier than multiple posts)

My first big task in Plot 22 was to flatten out the lumpy, dry soil and ammend it with manure. I was very lucky that the plot’s previous owner left it in very good shape. Many of the other plots had grown over with grass and weeds through the winter, requiring many back-breaking hours of labour to get them cleared. Unfortunately, the previous owner was planning to come back this season and had done some work during April, but he didn’t send in the paperwork to get his permit; I stopped feeling bad about that when I found out Plot 22 would have been his second plot, and his first plot is one of the largest in the garden!

In early May I attacked the garden with a rake and flattened it out. With help from my fantabulous boyfriend James, I laid out paths and planting areas. I would have loved to put in raised beds, but that would require a much larger budget! We ammended the soil with well-composted manure and tried to ignore the unwelcome criticisms of one of my garden neighbours (more on that some day when I’m up for some complaining!).

About a week later, we constructed a pea trellis:

Pea Trellis

It is made out of seven 6′ bamboo poles, fine nylon netting, and zip-ties. I hope it will be strong enough once the peas start climbing up the netting to survive the winds of summer storms. So far, it seems to be doing fine, even after the 100km/h gusts of last Friday night! The first pea seeds were planted along one side of the trellis May 19th, and the first sprout spotted a week later:

Pea Sprout - 28May2007

I planted a second crop along the other (North) side on June 9th. I’m hoping that will give me a second harvest a few weeks later than the first.

I’m growing Homesteader Peas (a shelling variety) and an edible podded sugar snap pea.

The first batch of gladiolus was also planted in mid-May, and will be followed by a second set next weekend.

Coming soon: Tomatoes!

Plot 22 - May 11, 2007
Plot 22 – May 11, 2007

The purpose of this journal is to share the progress of my community garden plot, located in a city-run park in Toronto, Ontario.

I will likely occasionally digress into details about gardening at my downtown apartment, including both my balcony container garden and the front yard of our building – “flowers only” by request of the landlord!

The adventure of Plot 22 began in February 2007 when I signed up for the waiting list for three different community gardens in Toronto. After nearly 3 months of anxiously waiting – and watching over 100 thus-far homeless veggie seedlings growing larger every day under grow-lights in my living room – I received my permit for Plot 22. A 20′ x 30′ plot of my very own land!

I took possession in the first week of May, 2007. Over the next few posts I will outline my progress from the last month of prep and planting.

Please feel free to send me comments – I’d love to know if anyone is out there actually reading this!