aerial view

Old Urban Garden, Photos of my Gardens

Our weather has turned into beautiful springtime the past few days. Temps only went down to 60F last night and the baby tomato plants (in pots still) stayed outside. Everything is growing nicely. I am starting to think that we may not get any more frosts – in my sheltered home garden at least. Yesterday I went ahead and planted sunflower seeds outside. I think bean seeds can go in soon too. Maybe the squash and tomato plants can be transplanted soon! Spring comes so fast once it starts!

I’ve been looking at the number of seedlings I have, plus the number of bean varieties I want to sow. Its disappointing not to be able to use the space next to my house (lead levels are too high there). I hope I can squeeze everything in to my raised beds and my community plot!

I was able to get the bed next to the house cleared out and planted with a thick cover crop of crimson clover seed yesterday. I planted two rows of enormous sunflowers along the house. And I bought a nice big half cedar barrel so that I can plant a few vegetables in this nice sunny area. Its such a big bare area right now.

aerial views of my home vegetable garden

9 Comments. Leave new

  • The weather here in London has been very similar. I took a chance today and started planting out as it has been so warm. I just remembered the same photograph you posted a few months ago.. but with snow!

  • Maybe you could try putting in a raised square foot garden style bed next to the house, with the bottom lined to keep out the lead soil. You could either fill it with soil from another part of your yard or create a soilless mix like the mel’s mix from square foot gardening. Your garden is beautiful, by the way (both of them)!

  • Have you heard about phytoremediation? It’s using plants to pull lead out of the soil. They’ve done trials in urban community plots. Indian mustard and sunflowers are top lead pullers, from what I remember. You just need to harvest and throw out the plants at the end of the season. Since you can’t plant anything to eat there anyway, it would be a good test to see what the effect on the lead count would be after a year.

  • I have never heard of phytoremediation. But I actually just planted the bed with 3 types of sunflowers today. (7 foot, 5 foot and 2 foot varieties – yellow, red and gold.) Of course lead doesn’t just “go away”. Its a nice thought to get rid of the lead, but where does it go? To my town compost and then into my community garden…. Hmmm. My little bit of lead won’t really matter, its a way to dilute it I suppose. But its worth thinking through.

    If I had the resources, I would put a barrier down and a green house on top. I am thinking of doing this at some later time. Like Tyra’s beautiful green house outside of Stockholm?!

    The square foot gardening bed is another good idea. But I worry about the depth required if there is a bottom layer to the beds. I would prefer a good 10 inches of soil. Even shallow rooted crops need 1-2 feet of soil. Deep rooted crops (like tomatoes) prefer to have 6 feet of soil (reference Univ Cal COOP Ext site)! That also gets into expenses….

    Hmmm. I’m still thinking about this…

  • Well, I wouldn’t compost the sunflowers, etc., that were planted in the leaded soil. As much as I hate to say it – those plants should go into the landfill. Or somewhere where it won’t go into a garden.

    We put a barrier down and put in square foot gardening containers. Each is about 2′ deep. We’ll see how the tomatoes do.

  • 2 feet deep! That’s great! I linked to your photo of your new raised beds so I can consider making similar ones.

  • They were really easy to make. I used the instructions from Garden Girl. I think I’m going to paint them with white milk paint on the outside so that they match the white trim on our house better. I’ll take more photos this weekend now that I’ve added a pea trellis and the tomatoes w/cages.

  • I recognize your garden like the face of an old friend. I was scrolling through the blogs on Garden Voices, and saw your posting. Things are looking green and healthy.

  • Hey Early snowdrop, same with you. I hope things go well with your stonework. Your gardens are beautiful as always.


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“aerial” view of my plot