I’ve really been slacking on this whole “garden journal” thing. Big surprise. Anyway, updates. Starting seeds in the basement did not turn out to be a great idea. It was too humid which made mold too eager to grow, and even with the fluorescent lights I think it was still too dark down there. I have no idea how people get pot to grow in their closets. Anyway, after a few weeks I gradually started moving the containers up to my kitchen, and most of them sprouted there. The sunflowers are doing the best because they always do. I also have fledgling soy beans, mini peppers, Romaine lettuce, arugula, tomatoes, chamomile, salvia, moonflowers, and maybe a couple other things. None of them are as big as I would like them to be, but maybe they’ll do better when/if I move them outside into a cold frame. I’m not really sure when I’m supposed to do that, though, and I’m not sure how easy it will be to improvise one from what I can find around the house (cinder blocks and old windows). I also picked up a tomato plant, a red bell pepper plant, and Romaine and arugula today from Home Depot. I figure I will plant them in containers and move them outdoors toward the end of May. The Romaine grew well for me that way last year.
Today, since it was finally over 50 again, I decided to work on the actual garden. I hand-tilled most of it with the Garden Claw I bought at the flea market last year, which was strenuous but effective, and then I Googled “how to amend clay soil.” Armed with some suggestions, I went to Kmart and bought 10 bags of manure compost in addition to one bag of base/leveling sand from Hope Depot, and I drove back to my house and dumped all of them into the garden (which took way longer than you might think) and tilled it again. I carefully tucked compost around my perennials that had already come back up (right-hand side of the garden). You can see the result below. I hope my plants like it and that they grow better this year than last year. Really, it could use a lot more work still, but I doubt I’ll be up to another day of hauling 400 pounds of compost around any time soon.