What’s better than free seeds?

Free plants.03-21-09

The topic of the Building Urban Gardens class today was container gardening.  Everybody got to choose four plants to take home.  There’s about 50 people in the class and there were still some left over, so they gave those away too.  Cool.  Just one more class to go. 

I’ve always read that you shouldn’t use the same container soil year after year, but our presenter said she never changes her soil.  She’ll add some compost, but doesn’t routinely totally change out the soil.  Maybe it’s the folks that sell the specialty potting mixes that put out the rumor that you should change it every year.

After the meeting, I got a chance to do a little work in the yard.  I’ve got this pile of leaves that’s been “composting” since October or November…


This was taken in December, and you can see there was enough heat in the pile to melt the snow right in the middle there.  I just knew I was going to have some nice leaf mold to add to my beds.  Nope.  When I removed the plastic and started digging down into the leaves nothing had decomposed.  It was a matted down mess.  So, I ended up shoveling the leaves into black plastic garbage bags.  I’ll poke a few holes in the bags and sit them to the side so it can one day become leaf mold. 

Lesson to little back yard gardeners:  Don’t put a huge pile of leaves where you intend to plant within the next two years.  Leaves don’t break down that fast.

Once I got the bulk of the leaves out of the bed, I kind of leveled what was there and laid down some black plastic to get things warmed up. 

Only a few of the garlic bulbs are coming up.  I hope I didn’t plant them too early last fall.  But it’s still early.  Maybe they’ll come up. 

I got a chance to plant spinach, radish, lettuce and a few beets in the spot I usually plant the elephant ear.  The elephant ear can’t got in until it’s warm outside, and this stuff will be done or almost done by then.

And the last thing I did was pot up the blueberry, blackberry and gooseberry.  I was impressed with the size of the blueberry.  I had paid about $7 for a blueberry twig that died on me, and this one actually looks like a bush. 


The only thing I’m a little worried about is that the roots weren’t wrapped too well, but we’ll see what happens.

Happy Gardening!!!!



  1. March 22, 2009 at 10:41 am

    I got the same thing when I opened up my big black compost barrel….just a big tangled of mashed down stuff that hadn’t decomposed a bit. I can’t imagine how that pile could have shrunk so much without giving me a bit of compost. Bummer!

    • gardengoodies said,

      March 22, 2009 at 3:03 pm

      Oh, yeah. I had enough to fill up the big black composter too which I was planning on doing the sweet potatoes in. Dang. Now I’m going to have to move them again, or some of them anyway. I’ve got big dreams and a little bitty yard.

  2. Kate said,

    March 23, 2009 at 8:13 pm

    Wow – snow!! I love gooseberries and didn’t even know they were available in the states. Silly, I know, but I’ve only had them in England and have never seen them in Florida so I assumed they weren’t an American thing. Very cool!

  3. gardengoodies said,

    March 23, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    I hope I read the information on them correctly. I got them from Gurney’s. They usually run a buy $25/get $25 off sale.

    The snow was in December. It’s all gone now…thank goodness.

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