Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Floodgates Have Been Opened!

Can you believe it? According to an article in the AJC this morning (registration required):

The state will allow hand watering 25 minutes between midnight and 10 a.m., three days a week on an odd/even schedule, and it will allow filling swimming pools.

Look out! It's going to be crazy as people let all this newfound liberty go to their heads.

I'm glad about this, because Ryan has been very eager to have a garden. But I'm also a little sad about this, as my built-in excuse for not having a garden has just been demolished. The reason I didn't want one? My (in)famous black thumb. I sure would hate to disappoint Mr. R by murdering all his plants. He loves plants and talks in a loving voice to his venus fly-trap every day.

However, I strongly suspect that my black thumb has less to do with ability and more to do with interest. Since Ryan will be very motivated to keep up with the garden, especially since we HAVE to hand-water according to the Authoritahs, then whichever plants we might be growing will actually have a fighting chance for survival. :o) And I do like having fresh food available that I don't have to go to the store to get. We always had gardens when I was a kid--this is my chance to look at a vegetable garden as a fun way to avoid going grocery shopping (not that I need a good reason) instead of a horrible, weedy, bug-ridden chore.

I'm thinking a few basic herbs and something leafy. Maybe tomatoes because I think that even I could grow them, but those nasty fat green grub-things really gross me out.

We'll plant whatever we plant above ground, since digging in Georgia clay is near impossible for the likes of me. I definitely have no interest in that. Anyone have suggestions for enclosures or containers? I have a friend who is very green-thumbed and she's suggested a container brand before, but I'm spacing on the name of it just now.

I have a great book about gardening with kids somewhere. It's called Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots. Think I'll locate it today and see what we can get going. Look for me at midnight, hand-watering my garden!


Monica said...

OMG. You have NO idea how jealous I am. At 8300 feet with soils that are acid and about 6 inches deep, there's no way to garden veggies here. I guess we do have similar problems to you, and I could do container gardening as you are doing, I guess. Oh how fun! You may not be too excited, but I'm excited for you!!

About five years ago, I had an enormous garden that I built with a friend. It was really huge. We had enough room for 45 tomato plants, potatoes, corn, onions, radishes, zucchini, cukes, peppers, you name it. It was a ton of work at that size. WE started by rototilling and then put up six foot fencing to keep the deer out. We were were lucky to have a big pile of several years old horse manure that we plowed into the ground. We never had to fertilize, just weed. We also never needed pesticides and I think we watered once. I think the environmental conditions were just right that year. But the weeding was WORK.

They were the most delicious vegetables I've ever had. We ended up giving so much veg away it was incredible! For weeks I would load up entire trunkfuls and what I couldn't can or freeze I gave away. In hindsight we could have made quite a bit of money, I think!

Oh yum! I don't have a ton of experience with container gardening of veg, but I did grow lettuce, squash, and tomatoes on a rooftop once with some success, so it can be done. I used plain old rectangular containers from Home Depot but there are special ones you can get for tomatoes and that may be what she is suggesting. I'd suggest getting a Burpee catalogue (I think you can get them for free) and they may have container advice in the back, from what I remember.

My biggest concern would be mammalo beasties. Do you have squirrels? They are true pests when it comes to veggies. I don't know how to get rid of them but there's probably a way. Perhaps netting around the tomatoes.

Rational Jenn said...

I'm impressed with your garden! My mom always had a sizable garden at our homes but nothing like that. But once, she did an organic coop/garden share thing with a bunch of other people and we used to drive to our little patch of this enormous garden to weed and stuff. Then people would swap their excess veggies. I recall going to buy huge loads of horse manure--oh how that grossed me out! My mom was big into canning veggies, too, so I don't think I really had store-bought veggies too much as a kid. Wish I could say the same for my kids, but I'm just not that kind of mommy.

I hadn't considered squirrels, which are everywhere. Our yard is fenced well, so no deer or coyotes can come in and I think it keeps the bunnies out, too. I'll have to think about what to do with the squirrels. Ry would be pretty irritated if they ate them. Oh, I can hear it now!

We'll start modestly and find some easy things to grow. We're definitely going to grow rosemary, since it's hard to kill around here and Ryan loves to go to our neighbor's house to clip fresh rosemary when we cook. Maybe a couple other herbs and a simple veggie, too. That's about all I can wrap my brain around!

Thanks for the suggestions!

Monica said...

I think you need chickens too. Tell that to Ryan and watch his eyes get big.

(just kidding)

Monica said...

Yes, herbs are fun and you can even bring the pot in at the end of the year if you have to. Where did you grow up?

Rational Jenn said...

Yes, I think we'll start off with lots of herbs in containers--except for rosemary which really does grow like a weed around here.

I grew up in the Midwest, mostly. Spent some time in CT and TX, too. Indiana was where my mom had her biggest gardens and did the organic co-op thing.

Chickens! Ryan would LOVE that! Actually, there's something that appeals about having fresh eggs. But I think our Home Owner's Association Peopleguys would all have heart attacks, and then sue us. It's probably not just them--I think there are lots of rules and regs because you know, they can't just let people alone to do what they want, you know?

Monica said...

Well, if you seriously are interested, you should check it out. Believe it or not, I am actually considering it!! We live in a kind of development but it's in the country. My biggest problem would be top predators (coyotes, mountain lions, foxes, bears, that kinda pesky thing.... )

You never know. You wouldn't need to get a rooster, I'm sure you know that. So that would eliminate the noise factor. And if your yard is fenced... anyway, it's apparently a cheap thing to do and there are plenty of people in cities that manage... but those homeowners associations, I've heard, are nightmares!

I was born in Knob Noster, MO (I just love saying that name!), but left as a baby. My first visit to the midwest was about 7-8 years ago for a summer research project in Urbana, Illinois. I really fell in love with the midwest. I know many find it boring, but there's something so down to earth and lovely about it there. I love the agriculture. And believe it or not, I really like the humidity (having a bit of a problem adjusting to this dry Colorado climate).