We had a warm week in April . . . the first or into the second week, I don’t recall fully. But it jump started me into thinking, and acting on, planting my flowers, herbs and veggies for this year.
We live in a 1200 square foot apartment with a patio. I have two whiskey barrels, some rustic planters I made from my recycled cedar planks, originally used for raised beds in a community garden last year, and some random pots.
I decided not to do the community garden this year, so I brought the whiskey barrels on the patio and configured planters with the cedar. I painted to cedar planters white to match the patio. I painted my patio in the process. 🙂
I got all the dirt and seeds . . . love to plant from seed . . . and fertilizer and bare root plants I needed to get started.
Ok, I’ve got a giant mess in this photo. To your right is an old screen door. The major problem I ran into with whiskey barrels in the past was drainage. So I drilled holes the size of quarters, as many as I could fit and still have a stable bottom for soil, into the bottom of the barrels and planters. I used the screen and cut proper size squares (or circles, whatever) for the bottom of the whiskey barrels. I then put the screen in the bottom of the barrels to keep the soil from escaping.
I then filled the barrels with mostly garden soil mixed with steer manure. Mmm, good times. And then the planters with a mix of garden soil and potting soil. The reason behind the madness was that my plans for the barrels included veggies and fruits (and, of course, flowers) and the planters were going to be filled with just herbs and flowers.
In my pea brain I really tried to configure everything so all was right in my little gardening world.
I’m glad I have Justin to help me out. 🙂
He proceeded to buy me little wheeled dolly thingies for underneath the barrels (mine are wooden, not metal, but I couldn’t find a photo) . . . so I now can roll them anywhere I need to. Before I couldn’t move them loaded with soil. And since they are on a patio, I need to move them periodically to get more sunshine and to just plain get them out of the way for other things.
He also bought me hanging baskets, flooded with my favorite flowers, as well as a few random plants I had been wanting . . . strawberries mainly, because my bareroot strawberries didn’t take and died. . . . this was just last week
And I’m getting around to why the death of the bareroot strawberry happened.
I read the Farmer’s Almanac, especially for planting dates and stuff . . . but I chose to ignore that altogether. And, since it was warm right then, I planted . . . I planted my seeds, my bareroot, everything that stated it could be sown after the last frost. This was around April 7th.
I was in a groove, a gardening groove and didn’t wanna wait, with my dozens of packets of seeds and packages of bareroots, for the weather to warm up.
But it did get cold again. Not freezing, but darn close . . . most definitely in the frost zone. My seeds did not come up. My strawberry plants died (bareroot). 3 weeks went by before I saw my seedlings starting to appear. My potatoes, on the other hand, loved it and took off.
So, my patio is starting to look put together . . . but it’s not quite there. I’ll update with photos as soon as I can. Since the weather really is warming up now and, most likely, will continue to do so, it shouldn’t be long before my patio is overgrowing with climbing Black Eyed Susan’s, sparkling with Jewel Mix Nasturtium, busting with Marigold color, enticing the sniffer with earthy herbs, and delighting the palette with sweet tomatoes and delicious strawberries. Not really sure how to explain potatoes. 🙂
Here’s to a great year of gardening and an abundance of flowers! . . . oh, and fruits and veggies of all kinds! 🙂