When Muhammad (a/k/a Cheryl) couldn’t get to the mountain…

…(a/k/a the community garden plot), Muhammad (a/k/a Cheryl) built her own.

(beginning of year)

In a prior post I had mentioned that I signed up for a community garden plot, but that the logistics of getting there were a little more than I could handle.  Between the successful experiment with the squash taking over one bed, the strawberries multiplying like crazy taking over the second bed, and the perennials using up the space in the third bed I ran out of space before I got a lot of stuff in the ground and needed a home for my babies.

Bright and early on May 16th I put on my knee-knockers and gym shoes, packed up my seedlings and headed off to the community garden to claim my plot.  Well, I didn’t see anybody there.  That was the day of the plant sale where I purchased the Rosemary Prostrada plant.  Since I had the Saturday to myself, I ran errands and I’d pass the garden just to see if anybody was there.  I still didn’t see anybody.  That’s when I started toying with the idea of building another bed to put some of my homegrown seedlings in. 

The making of  “Muhammad’s Mountain” 


I constructed the frame in the garage (with FreeCycle wood, thank you very much) so it would be ready to go when I dug out the planting area.  It took four hours one evening and a couple hours of the next morning to dig out the plot and put the box in.  I did my best to “double dig” and topped the area off with a version of “Mel’s Mix.”  It consisted of my homegrown compost, peat moss, vermiculite and perlite.  I also put in some store bought composted manure.  I threw in some wood ash that one of the ladies from the gardening group gave me last year, a little blood and bone, a little dried molasses.  In other words, I threw in the kitchen sink.

The next day I moved my little babies to their new home.  (05-29-10)

Take a peek behind the planter and you’ll see the bed’s all planted out.  (To the right, that’s my dollar bush tomato plant I found at Home Depot.  First time I’ve ever tried a determinate).

Here’s a picture of the bed today.  I configured the trellis for the tomatoes a little differently than the last couple years.  (Here’s a picture of how it was configured before).  

Here’s a list of what’s growing:

  • 3 Yellow Peppers (seeds compliments of Granny)
  • 3 Big Bertha Peppers (store bought plants)
  • 3 California Wonder Peppers (grown from seed)
  • 2 Patio Basils (grown from seed)
  • 6 Marigolds (grown from seed)
  • 2 Zinnas (grown from seed)
  • 3 Sweet 100 Cherry Tomatoes (grown from seed)
  • 2 Stevia Plants (Store bought plant that I divided into three, and the third one is growing in a container)
  • 1 Bush Early Girl Tomato (store bought plant)
  • 2 Sugar Baby Watermelons (compliments of Gregory)
  • 2 Russian Kale (compliments of Gregory)
  •  2 Celery Plants (compliments of Gregory)
  • 1 Rainbow Swiss Chard (grown from seed)
  • 1 Leaf Lettuce (grown from seed, trying to hide out in the shade)
  • 1 volunteer mystery melon, probably cantaloupe
  • 1 volunteer canna

 In fairness to the folks at the Jackson Park Community Garden, I recently received an e-mail through one of my groups and found out that there is somebody who works in the garden every day, it’s just that she started after I had already given up.  Just my luck.

Tomorrow from 3:00 to 5:00 they’re having a workshop at the garden on…oooo, my favorite…composting.  I’ll get a chance to see what I missed out on.

Happy Gardening!!!



  1. meemsnyc said,

    July 16, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    Garden is looking great! Nice!

  2. July 16, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    That looks so pretty! You really don’t need grass, do you? Great mountain! 🙂

    • July 16, 2010 at 9:15 pm

      My poor grass gets no love. I only started attempting to water it because I figure it’s sucking up the moisture from the boxes.

  3. Toni Parker said,

    July 17, 2010 at 11:42 pm

    Your new garden bed looks awesome! That’s quite a list of plants!

    • July 18, 2010 at 10:15 am

      I like to pack them in when I can. I trim the leaves off the tomatoes and keep them tied to the trellis and I pick the leaves from the kale when they get large, same for the celery. So, everything’s getting sun and air. I think I could have planted two peppers on the short end instead of three, but they’ve all got peppers growing on them in spite of being close. We’ll see.

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