Garden of the Gods – Chicago Style – part 1

Howdy there. Going to share some photos and stories from my urban gardening life. I’ve been doing it ever since my father passed away. He was an avid lover of nature. I like to think he still watches over.

I started early this year around late March planting indoors and planning the layout. Last year I started even earlier in February but I wound up adding a lot of plants that were store bought at the time. I remember spring came late too as the snow wouldn’t go away. It seems like Memorial Day weekend is when everybody is out at the garden center with spring planting fever. This year I had more plants from seed versus store bought and hardening transitioned better this time around.

I am an overzealous planter so it wasn’t surprising that I had an abundance of tomato and pepper plants. Those extra seedlings went into pots. Some of them are handling the pots well while others aren’t. It’s all about location and space to grow. I got cheap plastic pots due to budget constraints. It resulted in pots getting blown over and blossom rot on some but not all. Next summer I plan on getting big clay pots. The blossom rot is from lack of calcium. With the smaller pots, plants drink up water and nutrients fast. I have to keep track and fertilize them more so than the in-ground plants.

Lemon cucumbers failed miserably last year due to location, bugs and disease. My cukes have moved around a bit. They used to be in the spot where the corn is. These are in planters now in a sunny spot and are doing good.

In fact, I forgot I had planted them because I didn’t think they would succeed. I did plant Pickling and Slicing cukes. All three flourished and there were some interesting cross pollinations.

Planted many flower varieties. Zinnias above are from seed. They are wonderfully vibrant butterfly attractors.

Every day the garden yields something. Here is a harvest bowl with snap peas, sugar daddy peas, purple beans, pepper varieties of pepperoncini, sweet bell, Japanese peppers, pinot noir peppers and a cucumber. I planted silver corn and ruby red corn this year. Last year was peaches ‘n cream corn. Some raspberries from bushes too.

I love having a variety of plants and watching many things grow. Especially observing a tiny seed turn into a big beautiful plant. Clearly I would be very happy on a farm. 😀

Coming in Part 2… dealing with urban critters in the garden.

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