The Free Garden Finale

Well, you are reading this in October (although I’m writing it in August) because I think the last of the free garden I’ve tried to cultivate this year is finally at an end.

When it came time to plant the seedlings into actual planters of some sort, I got creative again. Sort of.

I used cardboard boxes. Yes, cardboard boxes. I lined them with garbage bags and poked holes in the bottom of the bags and the boxes for drainage. Then I dug a bunch of dirt around from the yard and the pile that Tyler was sifting through when working on the grove demolition for added soil. Some of the boxes were incredibly heavy. So heavy in fact, that I put the boxes full of soil on my bike to walk them across the acreage to their growing spot on the porch.

For other even larger ones, I filled up smaller containers of dirt and made several trips across the acreage to get the boxes full.

Green Beans a couple weeks into replanting.

What survived? Well, I was able to transfer two green bean plants, a bunch of pea plants (maybe eight?), and three kinds of squash. Which squash you ask? I have no idea. The newspaper pots I made to germinate the squash seeds? Well, I made the rookie mistake of writing directly on the side of the newspaper planter what kind of squash plant was planted therein. Meaning, when I watered them, my writing washed off the sides of the newspaper. Whoops!

Peas when first replanted. Chicken wire fence for climbing.

In the end, I had a steady handful of pea pods every so often. The peas didn’t grow gigantic, and didn’t produce a ton, but more than I expected. So I would just check the peas every day and pluck off some of the pods and eat them while watering the other plants.

The peas were delicious!

One of the green bean plants died immediately after I planted it. And the other produced a total of five green beans over the season. So, like the peas, I just every so often ate a raw green bean straight from the plant.

The little green bean plant that could…and the squash trying to overtake her!
A squash of some kind…a few weeks into replanting.

The squash? Two survived initially replanting in the cardboard boxes. And somehow…one managed to replant itself inside the green bean planter. Birds I guess? Maybe pooped some seed into the planter?

Squash taking off in the largest cardboard box.

Not a single squash itself has formed from these plants. They keep flowering beautiful bright yellow flowers….but no fruit. ☹️ Being it’s the end of August, I can’t imagine if any fruit did start to grow it would have enough time to mature before the weather turns. But the flowers were beautiful and a couple of the plants grew to be quite massive. Which tells me cardboard boxes weren’t totally awful planters.

The squash at the end of the season….trying to climb anywhere.

It was a fun experiment. Something to do during quarantine that didn’t cost a cent, just some time. And hey! I ate a bunch of fresh and crunchy pea pods for very little effort (compared to actual gardening).

The rosemary was from my CSA-so I planted in one of the boxes when the squash died.
The peas quickly died in the hot August heat.

But what I discovered is I like the routine of checking on plants and growing things. Besides the little free garden, I also took care of the four plants that usually live in the music school. I brought them home when the governor shut down businesses and they did so great. I liked talking to them and watering them…checking on them. Plants, man, so much easier than people.

Plants from JJ I brought home so they wouldn’t die.

So much so, that I’ve bought four indoor plants.

Adorable jade plants.

These small jade plants that help purify the air (and look adorable!). I added them to my window sill. And then I purchased these two…and I can’t remember their names. But the tall spiky one also purifies the air and the other one just has beautiful pink blossoms. All suppose to be easy to care for.

So, as it turns out, the end result of the free garden is that I may become a plant person. Who knew?

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