How Does Your Garden Grow Neo?

Submitted by Evelyn Kiefer on Sat, 03/07/2009 - 00:20.

Only a few more weeks until spring planting! I have been working on a planting list over the last few days. The following is what I plan to grow on my urban farm this year. I have grown nearly everything on the list before, but most will be new to my farm in East Cleveland. As you can see from the list, some of the plants will probably not produce this year or they will mature in the coming years, but this is my investment in my home and my city. My plot of land is largely a clean slate and offers exciting opportunities for learning about organic gardening.

So what are you growing? What are your favorite sources for plants and seed? What are your favorite sources for gardening information?

In the next fews weeks I plan to order plants and seeds, improve my compost bins, reorganize my garage to accommodate a planting bench, install more rain barrels, fix the fence to keep out neighborhood dogs, build a straw bale cold frame, make more paths so my family won't compact the soil, set up container gardens on my porch, buy some chicks and a hen house, get a rabbit and a rabbit hutch, build more raised beds .... acorn squash, arugula, asparagus (purple & green), strawberries, basil, beans, (green, yellow, purple, bush and pole), beets, blackberries, blueberries, broccoli, brussel sprouts, butternut squash, cabbage, carrots (several varieties), cauliflower, celery , chives, cucumbers, currants, dahlias, dill, eggplant, fennel, garlic, gourds, grapes (concord), horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, lemon grass, lettuce, leeks, marigolds, mesclun, mint, nasturtium, oregano, onions, pansies, parsley, parsnips, peas, peppers, pumpkins, radishes, red raspberries, rhubarb, rosemary, rutabagas, sage, scallop squash, shallots, spaghetti squash, sunflower, Swiss chard, tomatoes (many varieties), tomatillos, turnips, zucchini, * not enough room for corn to pollinate or to have fruit trees.

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spring delight!

 Isn't it wonderful? I just came in from cleaning out the summer hen house, corner to corner. We have to make room for new chicks in the heated and insulated winter house. My husband has been making me cold frames (I scored three large single paned windows yesterday morning - trash day - the sturdy old kind made with cedar I think). I already set out my cold crops: baby bok choy, baby cabbage, purple cauliflower, munchkin brocolli, cilantro and iceberg lettuce. They've grown so fast since I put them in the cold frame!

This weekend the tomato, pepper and squash seeds get planted and put on the heating pads inside.... And don't forget the peas and fava beans on St Pat's day!

planting peas

An interesting article about planting peas: The Joy of Planting: Earth, Sun and Peas

Your coldframe sounds wonderful, Debra. Can you post a photo?

here are the seedlings

before they went out to the cold frame...

Last night was a dicey time for them. I should have brought them in, but I was rushing around to go hang the Frank show and forgot. I woke up at 2am, remembered, and went out and threw a blanket over the cold frame. This morning they seemed ok! There was a light frost on the inside of the window pane, but these are all cold weather crops.

Oregon Giants - my favorite!

Thats a great article - here's my tips for planting peas:

  • I wait until St Pat's Day, for good luck
  • I use a pencil and poke a hole in the ground - no working the soil
  • I over plant, only the strong survive
  • I move my "pea plant" spot around to different parts of the garden each year
  • bamboo teepees work perfect and easily pull up (plant intact) in May/June when the tomato or other transplants I set out between the peas have taken hold and need that space. Before that, the peas keep the small transplants protected

This year I'm trying fava beans. They go in just as early and they fix nitrogen in the soil.


Window panes

Great idea...for constructing cold frames.  I signed up to garden at Benjamin Franklin this year and I am going to overhaul my yard for more food garden space, although I will have to bring in soil.  This part of my neighborhood once served as the site for a creosote factory :( 

watch for lead paint

 be careful to scrape them and paint them with fresh paint, assume they have lead paint or test them. 

But, I'm amazed how fast my little cabbages and bok choy are growing! i just put them out when the weather broke (wednesday?) and my indoor light (full spectrum) doesn't hold a candle to the beauty of a real sun!

I have the same problem here in tremont. The soil is so sterile -toxins kill the micro-organisms. i'll probably plant these at my home south of lorain when its time for them to go in the ground, but I do want to do containers this year. At least blueberries and strawberries. i can't stand a barrren landscape!

Where do you get your chickens?

What kind of chickens do you have and where do you get them? I am looking for laying hens, preferably not white. Ones that lay a large size egg. I would like to buy them as chicks so they will be friendly, no clipped beaks and definitely sexed. We don't need any roosters.

Bok Choy!

How could I forget that one?  -- its one of the most delicious of green vegetables.

healthy chicks 

they are the only ones who offer day old chicks at a minimum order of 10, sexed and in your choice of breeds (I recommend wyandottes, astralorps and cochins - all great layers and docile). They're a little more expensive that way ($5@) but well worth it as you get exactly what you want.

They ship day old, you get them in 24 hours and they stock very healthy chicks - we've always been very pleased. i would advise putting your order in early to be sure to get what you want.

BTW, we're getting a shipment late May. I'm raising them for a few other people for the first 6-8 weeks. We've already ordered, but we could probably add to the order if you don't want to buy 10.

Can I still get in on the chicken order?

Late May sounds like a good time for us to get chicks. I would like to start with 4 hens this year. They will be for eggs only -- and they will be pets. I checked out the breeds you mentioned --the astralorp sound like the best layers, but I would be happy to have any of the three.

I have raised poulty before so I could take care of the chicks as soon as they arrive. My little boys will have fun watching them grow.

EC chickens

I know there is one family in Cleveland Heights that has kept chickens for some time, but they are "special". Does EC have a chicken keeping ordinance?

the more the merrier!

I tried to email you through the contact tab about a week ago, but i don't think i did it right...

Great New chicken article!


Yes, We Chicken

For a growing number of city slickers, “free-range” is as close as the backyard. One writer shares her adventures with the flock

By Lisa M. Hamilton


Gardening for Greenbacks

Gardening for Greenbacks
Grants are available up to $3,000 for market gardeners in the City of Cleveland. These grants are sponsored by the City of Cleveland's Department of Economic Development in partnership with the Cleveland Department of Public Health, the New Agrarian Center, The Ohio State University Extension, and Case Western Reserve University. For more detailed information, download the brochure or contact Ifeoma Ezepue with the City of Cleveland at 216.664.3622 or at iezepue [at] city [dot] cleveland [dot] oh [dot] us.


Gardening for Greenbacks brochure


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