Harvesting An Urban Garden: From Garden to Kitchen

Connie McKinneyStarred Page By Connie McKinney, 22nd Sep 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/avnpmlss/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Gardening>Vegetables

This past spring, I planted an urban garden with the hopes of growing my own salad all summer long. Let's see how well I did.

Urban Gardens: Growing Veggies in a Small Space


Gardeners who don't have much space can still grow their own vegetables thanks to urban gardens.
Urban gardens are communal gardens located in cities. These gardens are built on raised beds and fenced in to keep out pests. A modest, $30 a year fee allows people in my Upstate New York city to grow vegetables in their own plots even if they live in apartments or houses with little or no backyards. I planted one this past spring.
We urban gardeners spent the past few months weeding, watering and watching over our plants. We all had the same hopes and dreams: plump, juicy tomatoes. Crisp green lettuce. Spicy hot peppers.
Let's see how we made out.

Harvesting What we Grew


Lettuce was the first crop to be harvested. I began eating my lettuce in late June and continued well into July. Then, the lettuce finished for the year and went to seed.
My tomatoes began to ripen in late July. August brought more of them. Now it's late September, and the tomatoes are still coming. I still have some green ones growing on the vines and many more in various stages of ripening on my window sill.
So far I've made three batches of tomato sauce - so much fresher and sweeter than the canned or jarred sauce you buy in the supermarket. I'm hoping to make at least one more batch and may freeze it for later use. I lost track of how many tomatoes I've eaten in a salad, sliced and slapped into a sandwich, or eaten as a snack.
Cucumbers grew at a record pace. I've harvested more than a dozen so far, and a few tiny cucumbers continue to grow. I had so many that I gave several away to relatives and friends.
Peppers also did well this year. I've been picking them since July and am still picking them.
Mother Nature cooperated this year and gave everybody a fruitful harvest., including my fellow urban gardeners. Other gardeners also grew a ton of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and lettuce. The gardener next to me grew huge cabbages. Another gardener has a lot of potatoes growing in his plot.
Here are some tips on growing urban gardens if you want to try it next year:


Gardening Disasters


Every gardener knows the dark side of gardening: crops ruined by animals, a lack of rain or blights which strike your plants. This year was no exception.
In June, a woodchuck somehow broke through the fence which surrounds the garden. I was lucky. He didn't eat any of my vegetables. But the people in the plot below me lost all of their broccoli. The head gardener who oversees the plot for the city evicted the woodchuck and sent him packing somewhere in the woods. He hasn't been back since.
While I did well with my vegetables, I still regret not successfully growing my own broccoli. This was the first year I tried to grow it, and I made a classic rookie mistake. In June, tiny crowns began to develop on the broccoli plants. I kept watering, watching and waiting, hoping the crowns would grow bigger. Then, one day I realized the broccoli had stopped growing and gone to seed. Next year, I won't make that mistake and will harvest the broccoli as soon as the crowns appear.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to make another batch of tomato sauce.

Here is the first one I did on urban gardening:
Here is one on growing tomatoes
Here is one on combating garden pests:
Here is one on wildlife invading our yards and gardens:
Here's one on growing a green lawn:
Here's one on growing roses:

Attribution:
The video came from You Tube.
I took the pictures of my own vegetables.

Tags

Garden, Garden Ideas, Garden Vegetables, Gardening, Gardening In Small Areas, Gardens, Vegetable Garden, Vegetable Gardens, Vegetables

Meet the author

author avatar Connie McKinney
I enjoy exercising, pets, and volunteering as well as writing about these topics and others.

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Comments

author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
22nd Sep 2013 (#)

I have a vegetable garden too, but this year the weeds took over because I had to work so much this summer. Still it is always good to try to grow some of our own fruits and vegetables.

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author avatar Connie McKinney
22nd Sep 2013 (#)

Mark, sorry the weeds won the battle. You're right; nothing beats growing your own.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
22nd Sep 2013 (#)

How industrious you are! My grandmother used to have the most wonderful gardens. I just don't have her patience or knack. Great photos to accompany your article.

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author avatar Connie McKinney
22nd Sep 2013 (#)

Thanks, Phyl. Mother Nature really helped this year - lots of sun and rain. The veggies loved it.

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
23rd Sep 2013 (#)

When I had a big yard I grew tomatoes and peppers with a lot success, the Anaheim chile and jalapeños didnt give me any problems. I used to put on my soil a lot of coffe grounds, bananas, orange peel, egg shells and helped a lot along with some manure and miracle gro! Wees by hand I had to fight. ANyway connie great article and when the tomatoes are ready will you put them on a jar, as in New York winter is around the corner! Thanks for sharing this info!

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
23rd Sep 2013 (#)

how fabulous this Fern....you just reminded me that I left one green tomato when I came home to London...hope it will survive till i go return on the 3rd!!!

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author avatar Stella Mitchell
23rd Sep 2013 (#)

You have given us a glimpse into the hazards and joys of growing your own vegs dear Connie ...I hope you enjoy the eating of your hard efforts .
Bless you
Stella ><

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author avatar Mariah
23rd Sep 2013 (#)

A woman of many talents indeed you are Connie, another great page on another interesting subject.
Thank you.

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author avatar Connie McKinney
23rd Sep 2013 (#)

Thanks, Fern. I really should compost more like you do. Good idea.

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author avatar Connie McKinney
23rd Sep 2013 (#)

Thanks, Stella. Eating the fresh vegetables is a great reward.

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author avatar Connie McKinney
23rd Sep 2013 (#)

Thanks, Mariah. It was a great growing season.

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author avatar Delicia Powers
25th Sep 2013 (#)

Fantastic Connie!!!

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author avatar Connie McKinney
26th Sep 2013 (#)

Thanks, Delicia. I hope we get another great growing season next year.

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