Beach to Deck

Just because you’re growing vegetables, doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun. Or, for that matter, import a little bit of beach beauty into a city garden.

michigan rocks

Here, basil is accented with lake-evoking glass tiles from last summer’s miserable (but successful) bathroom renovation; bathroom tilelong walks on the beach are commemorated by pots bearing herbs and seashells; shattered pottery finds new life with still more basil; iron- and copper-infused rocks, petoskey stones, and granite from the shores of Lake Michigan keep the bachelor buttons company; actual beach glass lends some contrast to the slow-growing bay; and Kalamazoo’s and Battle Creek’s finest brews — the delightful Bell’s and Arcadia —  shellsare honored alongside some beautiful eggplants.

beer capsbroken potterybeach glass


Container Gardening: Making the Most of It, Part II

lettuce and indian eggplant
lettuce and indian eggplant

This little guy is chock-full of goodness. Last year this pot quite successfully housed two prolific Thai eggplants. This year we’re giving three a whirl (one Thai from last year’s seed collection and two Indian Udmalbet). Sure, it may well be too crowded, but you never know until you try.

While the plants are still young, they’re sharing some space with a couple of very leafy lettuce plants.

Lettuce, by the way,  is POD’s moneymaker. It gets crammed into every available cranny and with diligent re-seeding and plenty of water it produces almost all season long into November.  It saves us at least $6-8 a week. (Next year a cost-benefit analysis is in the works for POD. )

Typically we just snip or tear off the outer leaves until the plant starts looking a little leggy (usually at least 4-6 harvests). When it starts tasting a little too bitter for your tastes, just yank it up and start over again. (Or, in this case, yank it out for tonight’s Cobb salad and give the eggplants a little more breathing room.)

Since eggplants take about 120 days to go from seed to vegetable, it’s gratifying to see something edible emerge from the pot within just  a few weeks.