Feed the Earth! – One Tomato at a time!

Plant A Garden – for yourself, for the Food Bank, for the Earth

It’s the Victoria Day long weekend and for so many Canadians that means planting time because all danger of a late-Spring frost is past.This year I have been extremely lucky that my hubby took the time to make me these beautiful raised two-tier planting beds of cedar reclaimed from old hydro poles (the non-creosote part, of course).
I added some rich black soil, then planted a large variety of heirloom tomatoes as well as other veggies I purchased at the Burlington Farmers’ Market from a local grower. I also planted seeds of onions in a row in front of the tomatoes, to help repel furry pests, radish, carrots, and beets.On a “hill” of soil off to the side I planted zucchini and small sugar pumpkins.
As with all other transplanting, tamp the soil down around each plant very firmly – use either your fist or your boot and make sure you press out any air bubbles.
Also water very well initially as this helps remove air bubbles as well. Air bubbles are the enemy of growing roots!
I consider myself extremely fortunate that I have the luxury of having a back yard to plant my vegetables in, but if you have a balcony, roof-top garden, sunny front porch or any space outside you can also grow your own vegetables. It just takes a bit more planning. Check out this do-it-yourself Alaska Grow Bucket which is a brilliant idea, especially if you have access to a rain-barrel, as it is also self-watering.
For an extremely limited space, try growing your vegetables upside-down – check out this do-it-yourself idea: Make Your Own Upside Down Tomato Planter
Two-tiered cedar planting beds
Water the young plants very well after transplanting

In a few weeks I will be planting some companion plants around the tomatoes: sweet basil to make the tomatoes taste better and sweeter, chives and marigolds to keep away aphids and other unwanted insects. If I see signs of fungus of any kind I will try to use this simple method to treat it: Sweeter Disease Free Tomato Tip. I will also screen the entire planting bed up to the height of the fence around it with bird net, a really tough netting which will keep out rabbits, chipmunks, squirrels, etc.
You may want to check out a book written by Jennifer Cockrall-King: Food and the City for more inspiration on why it’s a good idea to have urban agriculture.
Wherever you are – plant at least a tomato plant. You will enjoy really fresh tomatoes that are so sweet and delicious you just might get hooked on urban gardening!!
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