The Community Garden Plot- Part 1

Seed packets

I’m eagerly awaiting the day I can plant the remainder of our vegetables and fruits in our community garden. The soil is prepped, but they haven’t mapped out our individual spots yet. Hopefully they’ll finish today since there’s rain in the forecast for the remainder of the week, but in the meantime I thought I’d organize my seeds and update you on my plan. We were assigned to plot 22, which is right in the middle. I don’t have any experience planting here, so I’m not sure if it’s a “good” spot or not, but I like the fact that it’s out of reach to people or animals that are walking by. Nobody will be tempted to pick and eat our strawberries this way. Supposedly all 32 spaces get full sun, and the soil is very fertile. This is great for growing vegetables, but it also means we’ll get a ton of weeds. A few experienced gardeners from the community said mulching is critical, and I’m hoping this tames the weeds a bit as well.

So, what’s going into our plot? I made a list of everything below. This does not include any additional impulse purchases I make over the next few days. And by the way, in the picture above you can see bite marks and holes in our seed packets. That’s what happens when you leave things on the table and Lucille is in the room. That cat will destroy anything made out of paper. Let’s get started, shall we?

1. Mortgage Lifter Heirloom Tomatoes- Yes, I’m planting another tomato plant. It looked so good I couldn’t help myself. These tomatoes have a long history. In the 1930’s a man named Charlie owned a small car repair shop and was looking for ways to earn to extra income to pay his mortgage. He had no experience growing or breeding tomatoes, but after years of cross-pollinating, he grew a variety of tomato he was satisfied with and started selling the fruit for $1 each, a hefty sum at the time. With the proceeds of his sales, he was able to pay off his $6,000 mortgage in six years. Today, the Mortgage Lifter Tomato is still alive and in high demand. These tomatoes are among the most flavorful heirlooms and produce large 2-4 pound fruits after about 80 days.

2. Summer Squash (Fordhook Zucchini) – These are space-saving bush-type plants. Seedlings emerge in 10-14 days, and they have 57 days to maturity.

3. Summer Squash (Butter Dish) – 7″-8″ butter yellow fruit with a mild flavor. Seedlings emerge in 10-14 days and they have 55 days to maturity.

4. Garden Bean (Kitchen King) – 4″-5″ green beans. Seedlings emerge in 7-14 days and they have 55 days days to maturity.

5. Watermelon (Sugar Baby) – Round, 8-12 lb. melons with sweet flesh. Seedlings emerge in 7-10 days, and they have 75 days to maturity. I considered many types of watermelons, but chose this variety since it’s a bit smaller and will save some space in the garden. It’ll also be easier for us to carry home if we walk to the plot to harvest our fruit.

6. Pea (Super Snappy) – pods are 5″ -6″ long with 8-10 large peas per pod. The vines do not require support. Seedling emerge in 7-14 days, and they have 65 days to maturity.

7. Onion (Sturon) – Medium, round brown globes with sweet yellow flesh. Seedlings emerge in 7-14 days, and they have 150 days to maturity. I didn’t realize how long it takes onions to mature, so if we get to harvest these it’ll be late in the season. I guess we’ll take a walk with our new baby to pick these ones up.

8. Cucumber (Sweet Burpless Hybrid) – these are bitter-free cucumbers with early-yielding 10″ fruit. Seedlings emerge in 7-14 days and they have 55 days to maturity.

9. Strawberries (Sequoia) – After a lot of consideration, I chose a June-blooming variety of Strawberries, which means we will get a three week long harvest with a ton of fruit in the late Spring/ early Summer. If we’re lucky, we’ll have enough berries to freeze for smoothies and make strawberry jam.

So that’s it! Now I need to check back on our plot and see if it’s ready for me to plant and mulch so our countdown to homegrown vegetables can finally begin.

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