A First Step in Gardening: Door-Frame Gardens
Gardening can sound awesome. It's a literal return on your investment, where these tiny seeds become a bountiful crop of food supply for you and your family.
It can also sound terribly overwhelming. A continual life-or-death activity where the plants won't survive unless treated 'just so' and where you risk your life with the sun burns and bugs you're faced with every time you step foot into the garden (not much of an overstatement for this pale ginger!).
Sometimes, the potential down-sides can prove to be too much to risk and - thus - gardening never happens.
That's where I was at for years and I never gave gardening a shot until last year.
The nonprofit I work at provides gardening plots that can be rented for the growing season and Reetu and I were able to snag one of the final plots.
It was great.
We made several mistakes throughout our rookie season: not always keeping up on weeding, not spacing out all our plants, not planning out harvest schedules well (like when we had a ton of cilantro but no peppers), and killed a few watermelons and butternut squashes along the way.
This year, we are trying something new (to us) called a door-frame garden.
It is roughly 8 feet by 5 feet and is filled with top soil and manure brought in from outside the city (most of the dirt in the inner-city of Indianapolis is contaminated).
The benefits of this type of garden for Reetu and I are:
- Closer proximity: Rather than having to travel to the nonprofit I serve at, we can just walk into our backyard to take care of our plants. So when we're cooking, we can go out and pluck a fresh tomato or some cilantro for our meal (just writing that makes me feel more hipster and Earth-friendly!).
- Less overwhelming: It's a smaller spacer so it will be more manageable for us to take care of and, in case we get a spring frost, we can throw a simple bed sheet over the garden to keep it safe.
- Better care: We'll be able to spend more time caring for the plants and (hopefully) have an even more productive harvest this year!
Two questions for YOU:
- If you are a gardener, what are some tips that you've learned through your time with plants?
- What should Reetu and I plant this year?