In the course of experiementing with starting greens in late summer and early autumn, I really had to scratch my head and consider what to plant them in . . . the ground can be very inhospitable in my neighborhood, as the ferral cat population tends to claim freshly fallow fields as public facilities. Meanwhile, all my pots were already occupied by edible plants and I was in no mood to construct any more cat barriers, as pictured below:
Buidling those barriers was a good excuse to play outside in the spring, but in the wilting heat of summer, I'd rather find a lazier solution. So, as I paced my garden, fretting that all my pots were planted and growing veggies, yet desperate to start some low-labor greens. Why not experiment?
About the first week of September, I lined the bottom of a plastic flat with organic matter, tossed in a little soil, sprinkled some seeds on top, and gently watered them in. I wasn't holding my breath, here, just seeing what would happen. And while they didn't grow as big as the greens I planted in late August, they seem to have held up better over the long haul, since in our damp conditions, there is less soil depth to trap moisture. The ones planted in August, in a deeper pot, actually started to rot a little bit and I lost about half of the greens. These flat-planted ones are healthy as could be and I could have made a nice baby green salad for Thanksgiving, if I'd planted a few more flats (in order to feed 8). What I love about this set-up is the modularity of it. Flats are easy to carry or set on a shelf in a nice neat row. I plan to grow my greens this way next year.
Funny that after patting myself on the back for being so original, I found this method of growing greens mentioned in my seed catalogue.
Speaking of seeds, I've just shipped off my seed order. Perhaps a little premature, as I usually wait until after the first of the year, but I find it speaks to me more loudly than the inevitable Christmas shopping. I guess maybe I subconsciously decided to prioritize my spending this year. I'm excited to try a few new edibles, and I'll post my progress here, if I remember. What always amazes me is how seed packets that only cost several dollars can all add up so fast. Even with a small garden and practical-minded constraint, I still managed to rack up almost $60 worth of seeds.