Mission: plant garden | Planet Ryan - Republic-Times | News

Mission: plant garden | Planet Ryan

By on May 22, 2013 at 2:47 pm

PlanetRyan copyI woke up yesterday morning and the first thought in my head was, “I want my own garden.” I know it’s kind of weird, but that’s the only thing I could think about. I was obsessed with putting plants in the ground. So, usually when I get into that frame of mind, nothing short of a winning the Powerball can stop me. Unfortunately that wasn’t a problem, so I completed my veggie gar- den that very evening. I even worked into the night to get it finished and looking right.

It’s certainly nothing fancy, and as an apartment dweller, I didn’t have a lot of space to work with. But my plan did come together nicely. Imagine if you will, I picked up a load of standard cinder blocks and made a rectangular frame with them on the designated ground area I had to work with. I laid them out so the two holes in each one were facing up (in other words, you can see the ground through them). Essentially, I have an open space in the middle of the rectangle and all around the edges, I have 24 “pots” to take advantage of.

In the middle, the main area of the garden, I carefully shoveled in a load of top secret, high-powered fertilized soil (Miracle Grow garden soil), and then topped it off with some nice topsoil. I then placed my various tomato and pepper plants nicely into their new homes, and they look perfect. I tried a couple of new types of tomato plants I’ve never attempted to grow before, along with some cherry tomatoes (I love them on a salad). I have four jalapeno plants, as well as a hot banana pepper plant alongside them. So, we should have the makings for some excellent salsa at harvest time.

Back to the open “pots” that make up the border of my garden – I decided to plant a few colorful flowers in the corner pots, and then for the remainder of the available places to plant, I put in some highly fragrant and delicious sweet mint plants, chives, onions, cilantro and basil. Nearly the entire border of my garden will eventually become a booming herb garden. How great is that?

My main concern at this point is pest control. Even though I live in the middle of town, there are silly little rabbits and squirrels everywhere. Luckily, there are a few outdoor cats to the right and left of me who are highly decorated rodent hunters, and after an emergency conference last night, I’ve left it to them to step up patrols in the new garden area and keep out the unwanted furry thieves of the night. I trust that these ninja-like cats will bring down the full force of the “survival of the fittest” laws of nature upon these would-be garden intruders.

I’ve also talked myself into a tomato-growing contest with my old man, a veteran farmer, and told him I’d outgrow his tomatoes any time, any day, no problem. This was probably not the smartest move on my part, but I’m going to count on technology to guide me through the best practices for growing monster tomatoes. He’ll resort to experience and wisdom. It should be an interesting match-up. I’ll keep you posted.



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Ryan Ledendecker

Ryan is a biweekly columnist for the Republic-Times newspaper. When he's not working, he enjoys a good movie, bass fishing, and CrossFit.