The Woes of Urban Gardening

About two weeks ago now, Mirs and I started planting our Urban Garden. We went to our neighborhood hardware store for organic potting soil, collected some compost, selected some plants and went to town out doors on a warm weekend.

In a found container we planted Sage, Oregano, Thyme, Rosemary, and Chives. We found some tires down the street and planted a Mescullin Mix, Arugula, Broccoli and Red Leaf Lettuce. In 2 gallon recycled containers we planted peppers. Lastly, in 5 gallon recycled containers we planted three beautiful Heirloom Tomato Plants.

We sat back after being elbow deep in organic matter, we looked at our Urban Container Garden and patted each other on the back and enjoyed some beers. The life of an Urban Gardener isn’t as easy, though. A few days later we went out the the garden to check on things and started to panic. Our basil was wilting, the broccoli was yellowing and our Heirlooms were droopy. I went back to the Union Square Farmers market for help. The people who sold me my plants were less than helpful. I stumbled upon another farmer, Silver Heights Farm, to a pleasant greying woman standing by her plants. Her plants weren’t large like the once I purchased, she didn’t have a cash register either, nor did she have 3 people helping her out. It was just her and her plants.

I went over to her and told her my story. I explained how we mixed the plain potting soil with compost and organic potting soil. How we added Organic Blood Meal to the mixture, our containers and our drainage.

“You’ve got tomatoes out side? ” she asked. “It’s way to early and too cold for tomatoes. Bring them inside, check the soil and make sure you’ve got enough drainage. If they don’t make it, come see me and I’ll set you up with some more.”

She handed me a catalog from her farm and sent me on my way. I raced back to Brooklyn brought them in and did as she instructed. Two days later, the tomatoes looked amazing. New growth, no more slouching, amazing.

Today I look at them and the dirt is molded. I’ve apparently got Root Rot. I sent the following e-mail to Silver Heights Farm

Subject: Heirloom Tomato Problems

Hopefully you remember me. I spoke with a wonderful woman @ the Union Square Farmer’s Market last week about my ailing tomatoes. She told me to bring them inside (they were getting droopy) And to check the soil (should feel like a rung out sponge) After a day inside they sprang back to life and started to grow. We looked at them today and we have mold on the dirt! Can we dig up this dirt and replace it with new soil? Should we re pot them? Are we out of luck?

Gardeners in Brooklyn

We shall see.


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