The Urban Garden, planting and sowing

by Edie Wadsworth on May 8, 2012

urban garden

Calling my garden an urban garden is a little misleading. I do live in Bean Station, TN, for pete’s sake,  not exactly an urban metropolis. But I call it an urban or kitchen garden because of it’s unique small size and placement.  It’s a 10×12 ft garden that sits right beside our garage.  I finished planting this morning and wanted to tell you all about it.  It’s my favorite project in a long time and I can’t wait to tend it, weed it and harvest it!  It’s art and design, only better, because it’ll soon be edible!

We started by having a retaining wall built so that this area would be flat.  Prior to that, it was a sloping dirt pile just dreaming of becoming a garden.  It’s not the perfect ideal spot because it only gets about 6-8 hours of sun but we thought it would be worth a try to use every inch of space we have.  We then had it filled with decent dirt but left enough room (~10 inches) so that we could add compost, horse manure (which I shoveled in a sundress and flip flops), sand and mulch.  (I should add that I have a wonderful gardener who has helped us realize our vision for our landscape and he was kind enough to give guidance and help with this project too!   Thank you,Terry)

For our 10×12 space, we added 2 small truckloads of organic compost, 10 bags of play sand, some decomposed horse manure and then tilled that 3-4 times before planting.   I basically followed the directions on the plants and seeds  for planting with the exception of the tomatoes.  I wanted lots of tomatoes so I squeezed them in closer than recommended.  We’ll see how it turns out but a blog reader,  Andrea, recently commented that she does this on purpose because she likes smaller tomatoes.  I’m praying it works and we get lots of small-medium tomatoes.

Here’s what I planted:

1. Peppers- I did a few green pepper plants along with jalapeños.  I’ll be able to use these in my homemade salsa this summer!

2 and 3.  Herbs—basil, thyme, parsley, cilantro, sage, rosemary, mint, and oregano.

4. Tomatoes—-roma tomatoes, german queens, heirloom stripeys, cherry tomatoes, and several other varieties that I can’t even remember.  I LOVE tomatoes!

5. Lettuces and Greens—-swiss chard, kale, bibb lettuce, redina lettuce, mustard greens

6.  Arugula and spinach

7.  Cucumbers, summer squash and more peppers

I also have an Improved Meyer’s lemon tree in the corner and 2 David Austin Rosa Heritage climbing roses near the house.

I ‘dressed’ the garden with organic soil conditioner, which functions like a mulch to hold in moisture.  It’s 50% pine bark and 50% compost.

So, there you have it.

urban garden

Let the magic begin!

Grow, baby, grow :)

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Nicole @ Three 31 May 8, 2012 at 9:48 pm

That’s a great looking garden, Edie!!!! I’m trying to clear my summer schedule so I can head *home* to Kentucky and help my parents in their garden … more than an acre of garden, an acre of sweet corn, plus gardens at the neighbors’. They live in western Kentucky, in the heart of farm country. We don’t do “small” gardening! Mmmm the thought of tomatoes right off the vine is making my mouth water.

Big hug!
Nicole @ Three 31
(a kentucky girl and a texas boy living a simple country life)

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2 Jennifer May 8, 2012 at 9:50 pm

Looks great! If you put something for the cucumbers to climb up, they won’t take up any space in the garden. That’s what I do with mine and it works great. Much easier to weed also :o)

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3 Pine Tree Home May 8, 2012 at 9:52 pm

I just planted my very first garden too in a raised bed. Jack Frost came and took most of my plants though, darn him. I’m picking some new ones up this week for round 2.

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4 Trix May 8, 2012 at 9:55 pm

Edie, that is some garden for Pete’s sake!! Wishing you sunny cherry tomatoes and the best. We recently had a overhead porch put on with our hurricane roof repair here in Texas. I asked the guy to paint the ceiling pretty aqua blue (haint). He seemed to think I was nuts, then when completed he was surprised how nice it looked.
Luv ya Edie. Trix :)

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5 Meredith May 8, 2012 at 10:00 pm

Looks beautiful, Edie. I especially love the centerpiece that makes it feel so much like a French potager.

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6 Shelly Gregory May 8, 2012 at 10:04 pm

Urban or not, you’ve earned the right to call it what you want! I think the setting is amazing! And, your garden layout is quite beautifully done!

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7 Jill May 8, 2012 at 10:21 pm

Now, that’s my kinda garden! I wish I had one just like it. A managable garden and a lake view to enjoy while you’re weeding. :-) You can’t beat that! Plus, I have a thing for cute frogs and that little planter is adorable.

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8 Gretchen May 8, 2012 at 10:23 pm

That’s a lovely-looking garden, Edie. I confess I laughed when I read “urban” in the title! Besides, doesn’t “lake garden” have a nice ring to it?

Looking forward to a follow-up in July or so. :) I’m not planting this year because I haven’t figured anything out about this yard yet, so have to live vicariously.

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9 Diane | An Extraordinary Day May 8, 2012 at 10:44 pm

Oh Edie, your new garden looks fabulous! Mmmm…I can almost taste and smell the goodness that you’ll cook up from your beautiful patch of earth. If you’re like me, you’ll be checking on it and reveling in each new bit of green growth, bud, and fruit. I’ve been know to stand and stare. I marvel at these bits of creation I have a part in nurturing. Joy!!

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10 Ruth May 8, 2012 at 10:54 pm

I’m starting to plan my garden. Unfortunately, the weather has been all rain here the last couple of weeks and I really need to get working on it. Your garden is gorgeous. I live everything your planting, especially the herbs. looking forward to posts on how your garden grows.
Hugs,
Ruth

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11 beverly May 8, 2012 at 11:29 pm

How about “Suburb-utopia” for your garden spot? That sure works for me. Also, your friend who suggested growing your cucumbers vertically had it spot on. In addition to easier picking, they seem to be happier that way. Sowing, growing, and hoeing is great for everyone. I look forward to seeing your first harvest.

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12 Laura @Ms Smartie Pants May 8, 2012 at 11:50 pm

We always had a garden when I was a child and then we had one for a few years when my kids were young, it’s work but fun work. The setting looks like you could have lots of critters, how will you keep them out?

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13 Barbara May 9, 2012 at 1:46 am

With that view, I’m sure the veggies will grow extra fast and delicious!

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14 Southern Gal May 9, 2012 at 7:54 am

Yes, let the magic begin. Lovely garden to have so close at hand. Go you!

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15 Michelle@Life on the Funny Farm May 9, 2012 at 8:06 am

It all looks so lovely. I also love tomatoes and I probably plant mine too close as well. They have all turned out well except the heirloom Mr. Stripey that I planted last year. I’m not sure what I did wrong but I will try again. I hope yours is a success.

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16 Esther May 9, 2012 at 9:40 am

It’s beautiful! I hope to get my garden planted this weekend, on Mother’s Day. Hopefully here in the great North we won’t have to worry about frost anymore. Can’t wait to get my hands in the dirt!

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17 The Handmade Housewife May 9, 2012 at 9:55 am

Oh my gosh that has to be the most welcoming garden I’ve seen! Look forward to seeing it grow :) And I have to say your view of the water is amazing!

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18 claire May 9, 2012 at 11:25 am

Umm, Edie, my anxiety has peaked and I feel like I’ve been punched in the stomach. From the photos, it looks as though you may suddenly take a fall while picking tomatoes. PLEASE post a picture of the other side of this retaining wall, so that my fear of heights and concern for you will cease! HA!

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19 Marie at The Lazy W May 9, 2012 at 11:37 am

Already so colorful and pretty, Edie!! I just know it’s going to thrive will all the love you and your family will shower there.
A few thoughts:
a) YAY YOU for shoveling manure in a sundress and flip-flops!!! That’s the best thing I have heard all week! LOL I do this regularly.
b) some people say that mint is invasive, like that’s a BAD thing. LOL Like basil, I can’t get enough of it, so enjoy!
c) Surely you will give us an excellent salsa recipe later inteh summer??

Congrats, and thanks for sharing!
xoxo

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20 Sarah May 9, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Beautiful plot! We put our lakeside garden in down here in SC a couple of weeks ago. We are also experimenting with a side of the yard that might not have quite enough sun, just to see. I think we are going to put in some raised beds next year, in a location to be determined by how this one grows. It’s our first year at this house, and we are excited. We also have lots of citrus trees, which my husband babies carefully. Let’s just say my desk was covered in them all winter since if they were on the floor my toddler would be eating dirt. We harvested a much of Meyer lemons, which were delish. But I don’t know if they were super-potent cause they were so fresh, or what, but when I made Ina Garten’s lemon bar recipe it turned out terribly. Or maybe thats just what I get for using a Yankee recipe.

By the way, are you going to let your chickens fertilize the area after the produce is done? We are so eager to get chickens into our yard, but I gotta wait till (a) the renovation is done and we finally move in, and (b) my toddler and preschooler are old enough to clean out the chicken poo. : )

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21 lauren May 9, 2012 at 4:45 pm

your garden looks great edie! i want to get some lemon trees. my mom has a few and hers do really well. and i love the sound of all of your herbs. i want to get into planting some herbs–when the time will allow! it all looks so great… i know you can’t wait to have all that yummy goodness on your table this summer!

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22 Karen Valania May 9, 2012 at 7:39 pm

Hi Edie,
Your garden looks great!!! I remember one year, long ago, my aunt planted several kinds of peppers grouped together in her garden. Somehow, they mixed and the sweet ones(??) were actually quite hot! ;)
I recommend adding pretty plant markers! I hope you have bumper crops of everything!

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23 Craig May 10, 2012 at 4:35 pm

Gosh is your family lucky to have you – from your oldest to your youngest to your hubby, all of them – lucky to have you. I remember one of the first posts of yours I read, about Martin Luther and theology, and then THAT night, then meeting you, and I don’t comment enough – but just know that every time I read you, your words just look and feel and sound like home. Your garden is magnificent, urban or not – grow baby grow! God bless and keep you and each and every one of yours Edie.

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24 Melissa May 11, 2012 at 11:15 am

Your garden looks great – can’t wait to see it in a month or two when things are really blooming.

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25 Julie May 11, 2012 at 5:59 pm

Looks incr~edible

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26 angela conklin May 12, 2012 at 8:56 am

Your garden is calling my name! Love the eye appeal! Can’t wait to see the harvest.
*Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.*
Robert Louis Stevenson

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27 LLH Designs May 13, 2012 at 11:45 pm

Looks amazing, Edie! Can’t wait to see how it grows. I designed an urban garden last year in wine boxes. (It made the Pinterest/blog rounds, which was flattering, but I was limited in what I could grow). Now that we’re moving from the big city of Houston to the small town of Franklin, TN (anywhere near you?), I get to try my hand at a bigger garden! Can’t wait!

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28 {darlene} @ fieldstonehill May 16, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Gorgeous, darlin!!!! I’ll be right over once that Arugula is ready…
love ya!

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29 Theresa May 24, 2012 at 8:11 am

It is beautiful and what a backdrop! Perhaps, If I had such a lovely view, I might even attempt a garden :)

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