a garden that is exactly the right size + an update on my worms

In southern Ontario, I put seedlings in the ground, watered them, and they produced and produced and produced. I gave vegetables to co-workers, came up with recipes, and donated to food banks. My garden-ettes were tiny but mighty.

Two years ago, I attempted the same here in Vancouver Island North and it led to absolutely nothing: in which the cool coastal climate kicks my ass: my first #gardenfail. I carefully cultivated seedlings indoors, only to see them die the moment they were put in the ground. Now I know why so many people here have greenhouses in their backyards.

After that disappointment, I took a year off, and didn't plant anything last year. 

This year we started a seed library at the Port Hardy library branch. It's been super popular, and it inspired me to checkout a few seed packets. 

In response to my various challenges, a friend suggested I try container gardening. It's a brilliant idea: easier on my knees, no need to dig up weeds to clear a space, and almost no weeding. It also feels much easier -- true to its name, it feels more contained.

I started very simple: three plants, and three inexpensive, non-decorative pots. I can imagine a gorgeous array of containers of all different shapes and designs, which beautifully fits my aesthetics. But minimal investment will cut down on potential disappointment, so I'm keeping it super simple, at least for now. 

I planted beets, carrots, and snap peas. 

I got an assist from my very own worm compost, and some chicken wire leftover from our attempts to keep Cookie at home.

Today I started the process of hardening off the seedlings, something I didn't know about on my first go-round. 

While in the process of moving the plants outside and in again, I discovered this: snap peas!

Maybe there's hope? As the Magic 8-Ball says, reply hazy, try again.

Nothing's hazy about the worms, though. They are thriving! My first harvest, in September 2022, produced about one kilo of rich, black compost. 

Then in April of this year, we harvested more than twice that amount! So I must be doing something right.

I found a great supplier in Alberta, cutting out thousands of kilometres of shipping, not to mention incompetence. I also resolved a few unknowns and settled into a routine that seems to keep the little guys very happy.

We're using the worm compost for new grass seed, Allan's attempt at reviving the raspberry patch, and of course, my little seedlings. The worms are great incentive to keep going with the container gardening.


Dharma Seeker said...

I adored your gardenettes in Southern Ontario. You created such a beautiful, peaceful, inviting space. As a tenant in an apartment I've thrown in with container gardens too. The lettuce doesn't get eaten and I don't have to worry about soil quality when producing food (even if it's just a little food). Well done Laura, thrilled you can put your green thumb back to work. The seed library is genius.

laura k said...

Aw, thank you DS! You may remember Cody made herself a nest in the dirt. :) And of course I'll never forget the wmtc party with like a dozen dogs. But thanks for saying this, it made my day. xoxo