You’re Getting Your Garden Ready for the Spring While I’m Still Growing

Posted on Nov 3 2010 - 3:08am by Mike Lieberman

I want to brag a little bit in this post. It’s been about 7-months since I left NYC for LA. In terms of growing food and gardening, it’s starting to settle in now.

It hit me when Colleen Vanderlinden wrote 10 Things to Do Now for a Better Garden Next Spring on Planet Green.

Last year during this time, I was fussing around and attempting to build small plastic greenhouses on my fire escape garden and in my Grandmother’s backyard. I eventually scrapped those ideas.

I actually just planted two containers with kale and collard greens. There really is no frost here, so I can grow year round. Though I still do have to drive everywhere, which sucks.

For those of you in the middle and right side of the country, I definitely recommend check out Colleen’s article and starting getting your spring garden ready.

I’ll just gloat and keep growing during the winter.

  • Anonymous

    lol, damn hippies. Get an electric car if driving bothers you that much ;) ;)

    I’m a plains native at heart and I can’t live without my “horse”, but if driving is really an issue for you have you considered electric, hybrid, or bio diesel?

    Some of the stuff I’ve seen on bio diesel indicated that a lot of people out of the left coast were making it from all sorts of recycled food industry oils. I have been lead to believe that there are both individuals making it themselves, and companies making it commercially for gas stations, and that it isn’t too hard to find. I have also been lead to believe that a lot of restaurants out there are happy to have someone come and take their old oil. The problem, as usual, is government. If you make too much or start to sell it then they want taxes. But I seem to recall several people just ignoring them, much like the medical marijuana people (while it’s legal on the state level it is still against Federal law).

    Plus from a preparedness perspective a bio diesel vehicle can run on regular diesel or a variety of other things in a pinch.

    I did check out those winter recommendations. Unofrtunately some of them are difficult for us living in an apartment and gardenning in a communal complex space. But we will try implement the ones we can.

  • Mike Lieberman

    Hahah. I have nothing against driving just got spoiled from being back in NYC. Will look into what you are talking about though.

    Unfortunately there isn’t much solid information out there for apartment dwellers. Mostly those with large private gardening areas.

  • Theah

    Hi Mike! Big fan!
    I’m in a very similar boat to yours. I live in Tucson, AZ (= SUNNY and dry), and I grow in what I call my “earth buckets”. The seasons are SO different here compared to other parts of the country. It’s been tough for me as a new gardener to adapt traditional advice to my climate and my odd buckets. For example, I’ve learned that March is NOT the ideal time to plant seedlings as it’s blazing hot a couple of months later. Oh well, grow and learn!. :)

    In the last three weeks I’ve been starting a lot of my “cool weather” crops, such as broccoli, kale, swiss chard, romaine lettuce, buttercrunch lettuce, cilantro, and parsley. It’s so wonderful and addictive, I crave even MORE buckets (I have about 14) for my greens!

    I have a slight quandry right now that I’d love some advice on.
    I planted swiss chard in a bucket and now four good plants are growing. They are about 2 to 3 inches tall. Do you know how big these will get? how many can comfortably grow in each bucket? Are the extras transplantable? I worry about that because the seed packet said it didn’t recommend starting them indoors for transplant.

    Similar question for the kale, how many plants in a bucket do you suggest?

    Thank you, and thanks for all your work!
    Theah

  • Colleen

    I’m glad you liked that post, Mike! I am so envious of you lucky gardeners who can grow year-round! I’m putting plastic hoophouses over some of my beds, and I’ve got a couple of cold frames full of greens now — I’m hoping these can get me into the new year here in Detroit — we’ll see!

  • Mike Lieberman

    Thanks Colleen. Good luck with you hoopshouses and cold-frames. The fact that I’m on the left coast is starting to set in now…

  • Mike Lieberman

    Nice Theah. I often run into the same problem in terms of how many plants per bucket. I always wanna do a bit less and wind up doing more because I wanna get as much as possible.

    Depending on the size of your buckets, I’d say that you’d want the chard and kale plants to be at least 6″ apart to allow them full room to grow. If you are able to easy pull up the others without disturbing the root systems too much, you should be able to transplant them.

    I have a few containers where I totally packed in the kale with lettuces. Also have another where I just sprinkled in one row with some seeds. I showed restraint.

    Keep me updated!

  • Alex

    Hi! Speaking of greenhouses… Although you may not need them, this may be helpful. I follow a woman i know on bloominthyme.wordpress.com. She is a great grower. You can take a look. Scroll down on the home page and you are most likely to find an article about how the lady made green houses for her peppers. She took gauge wire, and cut it into the perfect size; just enough to curve slightly above her peppers. After this she draped the small wire arches with with frost sheets and secured it with anchor staples. She made a small green house that water, light, and air can easily fall through. I advise taking a look at the home page, because I am a terrible explainer ;D

    Alex

  • Mike Lieberman

    Sweet. Thanks for sharing.