what a dead tree (covered in snow), a conditioner bottle, and a snoopy toy have in common [a salad garden]

This last October we were hit with a cold snap and a snowstorm full of wet, heavy snow. The trees still had all their leaves, and many lost their branches. There were limbs down on all the houses on our block. Some trees even lost their lives, like the one on the left in the picture. The poor tree on the right lost his friend! So, I decided I should put that little patch of dirt to work…

We’ve had an exceptionally warm spring so I thought maybe I should start an early salad garden in this special 7×4 foot space (read: tiny). I started by turning over the soil and breaking things up a bit. I found a marble and this great little snoopy fellow riding a fire engine. This toy is the real deal: it’s made of metal! I took him in and gave him a bath…he will stand watch and guard my garden. Next I drew a rough “garden map” in my notebook and partitioned it off for all the goodies I wanted to plant. I split it into 6 squares and ran a 7th planting up the center line.

Then I roughed out the grid with a few rocks so I wouldn’t double plant a square. I decided against rows and just sprinkled seeds around! I am looking for a little chaos and a little fullness in my salad garden. I planted collards, swiss chard, spinach, 2 kinds of lettuce, 2 kinds of basil, radishes, and chives up the center line. I needed something to mark each square, so I found an old hair conditioner bottle and cut it up to make some “garden stakes”. I used sharpie to write the plant names and then stuck them in the dirt in the middle of their respective squares. I also made signs that say “veggie garden: do not spray!” to protect my little salad plot.

Finally, I gave the tiny garden a nice long drink. It snowed two days later. Well, it rained and snowed at the same time and melted as soon as it hit the ground. The good news: I saw 7 or 8 tiny green guys poking out of the soil today!

Garden planted: 3.28.12

First green baby plants: 4.5.12

First salad: we’ll see how patient I can be…it might be a baby greens salad the first go around…