My Garden

Our small yard sadly isn't much conducive to vegetable gardening. Since we're renting and hoping to move soon, there's no point in digging up the the owners' nicely "landscaped" yard. The yard is only about the size of a small bedroom, so I don't know that "landscaped" is the right word. Plus we don't cut the grass much, and it looks pretty unkempt most of the time. And a good portion of the yard is a pile of dressed up rocks meant to cover up a drain or hatch or something possibly mysterious. Regardless, it looks nice, but it's not a great space to plant food.

But...we do have a west facing balcony with lots of sun. My plants seem to be doing well in the sun. I always plant basil and tomatoes, but this year I'm also growing mint and strawberries! I got a bunch of fresh mint for a dollar at the farmers market, stuck them in some water, and waited for them to root. I just planted them, so we'll see how they grow. I should have a mess of mint in no time since mint is pretty much like a weed.

Basil! Organic sweet basil and lots of thai basil. I tried to grow thai basil last year but they all started rotting even though my pots had drainage holes on the bottom. Here's a tip that's helped me; put some rocks in the bottom of the pot before you put the soil in. It helps with the drainage so that the soil doesn't turn into a swampy sludge at the bottom of the pot. I harvested some rocks from the pile in our yard, how convenient.

Once again, the thai basil were all rooted from pieces I brought back from a phở restaurant or from cuttings from the asian supermarket. Easy peasy, stick 'em in water and watch them root!

I have two kinds of strawberries, one seems to be producing better berries than the other. The other berries look like they didn't get pollinated, since all they produced were tiny red fruits that are smaller than a pencil eraser. I wish I could plant these in the ground so they could spread... I recommend trying a fresh-picked strawberry straight from the plant while it's still warm from the sun. Yummy! One day I'd love to start planting lettuce and potatoes, too...and also some Chinese vegetables. When I was little, my mom used to plant all sorts of vegetables; I remember snow peas, tomatoes, chinese greens and corn! The corn was small, but it was so fresh! but there was a problem with deer coming in the night to eat our corn right off the stalks. ah, memories.

Lastly, this is how long the grass was before I cut it. It's hard to tell, but it went up to my knees. Oh, and did I mention that I cut by hand? I mean to say, I cut the lawn with a pair of scissors. We don't own any grass trimmers or yard clippers or anything, and I wasn't about to use my dwindling savings on yard tools. So one day, I spent a pleasant afternoon outside with the compost bin and a pair of scissors trimming the grass. Our yard is so small, it actually didn't take long at all, maybe an hour. I enjoyed it. I'd do it again.