Environment/Nature

S&R asks: What are your 2010 gardening plans?

Those of you living in the South may already be at full speed in putting your garden out, but with D.C. predicting 20 inches of snow (which apparently requires apocalypse level preparation) and the still non-robotic groundhog predicting six more weeks of winter, most of us are in the seed catalog browsing stage of gardening. Soon enough – we hope – the ground will be workable; the sun will start turning necks red; and photosynthetic life will spring forth to please and nourish gardeners.

We here at Scholars and Rogues would like to know what plans you have, and we are offering a new service. Send us gardening questions and we’ll answer them.

I don’t know what i’ll do with the beds around the house yet. Some larger questions need to be answered before finalizing those plans. Last year i was given access to a plot of bottom land next to Badger Creek. This year it will be bigger and better…mostly because Wright St. won’t be undergoing massive reconstruction all summer so the plot will be easier to access. I also did significant clearing on the steep, west bank of the creek this winter so it will have even more sun. With a little weather-related luck, i’ll get lots of production from the 20′ x 20′ plot i plan to cultivate.

Since i have easy access to lots of used greenhouse plastic and 3/4″ electrical conduit isn’t very expensive, i’ll be constructing some low tunnels to get an early start on tomatoes and plan to devise a way to protect a few cantaloupe vines into the fall.

This year we’ll only take a half-share in Farmer Bunce’s CSA. I realize that buying a CSA share isn’t “gardening”, but it is…vicariously. It’s also the cheapest, easiest and best solution for those of you with limited space to enjoy garden fresh produce and extricate yourselves somewhat from the industrial agriculture grid.

I’ll try to avoid taking side jobs, but i’ve agreed to become a “paid volunteer” with US Forest Service on the native plant and conservation program. Add that to my 40+ hours per week and personal gardening and my life will be definable in three words: eat, sleep, garden.

But i’ll make some time for your questions. Food gardening, lawn care, ornamentals (annual or perennial), trees, pests and disease, whatever. I tend towards organic solutions, but i’m a realist and a pragmatist. I’m also particularly interested in solutions for people with limited space.

I do this for a living because i love doing it, so fire away. Send an email to scholarsandroguesasks@gmail.com (we won’t share or publish your address under any circumstances) or hit the contact button.

8 replies »

  1. How cool of you Lex to do this. I will send you my questions, since it appears to be the way to create future articles, and I’d love to see this take off.

    Today’s garden work is almost entirely clean up and prep, but stuff is growing already like mad. We had the warmest January on record and February appears to be following suit. It’s a bit unnerving to have everything on fast forward out there. 🙂

    Ok, off to ask my questions.

  2. It’s strangely warm here too, but not quite growing like mad yet. If the groundhog’s prediction of six more weeks manages to hold true for the UP, i’ll dance a little jig. So far, it feels promising and our last el Nino cycle produced some amazing summers (like breaking into the 90’s by Memorial Day weekend), so hope is running high for me.

  3. I have a question. We live in a townhouse and our patio faces south. We don’t have much space, but we do have a little. The problem is that there’s so much concrete and brick around any little patch of dirt or pot we can attempt to grow something in, and when it gets hot, it’s a feckin’ bake oven out there.

    We had a little success with tomatoes last year and also got some lettuce and cabbage to come up, but is there anything that should really thrive in these conditions?

  4. Since we finally had to put my dog to sleep I this summer is going to be a lot of dirt to fill in the holes she used to love and dig. Lucky for me there’s tons and tons of tiger lilies and tulips, so spring and late summer are taken care of without any effort.

  5. I don’t know for sure if tiger lilies are, but regular day lilies are edible and if you catch them at the right time (soon after opening) they’re quite sweet. The unopened pods are a traditional ingredient in hot and sour soup.

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