Sunday, August 1, 2010

New Garden: Seattle

Seattle presents great challenges for veranda gardening. Especially in my particular case where I have a giant tree blocking a lot of sunlight in the mornings. Also, although the days last from 6:00am until 9:30pm during the summers here, it never really warms up and the light itself is not very bright. There is a lot of fog in the mornings, so mold is almost guaranteed. The lack of sun means a lot of popular vegetables will be unproductive. The cold means slower growth and later, shorter growing periods.
This is the view from the veranda. You can see the tree that is blocking my sun. Just a few meters over, there is a lot of sun, but that area gets mowed frequently so I can't use it.

Forgetting all that, I went out and bought some supplies and transplants.

I bought a nice, deep planter. On the right is a big bag of Miracle-Gro soil which claims to fertilize plants for 6 months. Inside the planter are three plants I've selected for this year's garden: Japanese Cucumber, Japanese Eggplant, and Red Bell Peppers.

The problem is that these plants need full sun, but I can't offer that to them. Worst case, they will meet their doom in a week or so. Best case, I hope they can produce a few fruits.

There were a lot of pots already here, but I wanted a long, deep one so that I could effectively use the space on the porch. I can't believe it cost $17 at Home Depot. How can a plastic planter be so expensive?

Seattle also has a slug problem. They seek out gardens and munch. I considered lettuce, but I've seen how much slugs like it, so I decided against it. In order to help prevent slugs, I used bricks to raise the planter off the ground. You can see it in the final picture.

Cucumbers need to grow upwards, but garden netting is extremely expensive here. One net was going for $15 a square yard. There is something really uncomfortable about paying that much for disposable materials.
I'm a bit proud of the cucumbers on the left. In lieu of paying an arm and a leg for garden netting, I built my own. The materials used are a thumbtack, twine, and staples. The thumbtack (not pictured) holds the twine to the wall. The twine is stapled to the pot, and each of those "steps" is a piece of twine stapled to the vertical twine. Home-made and probably costing less than a penny.

Things are started!

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