First Time Gardener in the Office Garden

Reader Contribution by Megan Hinman
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Last Tuesday was my first time gardening here at MOTHER EARTH NEWS. I tried starting a garden at my little rental house in Lawrence, but this garden is clearly superior, so I’ll probably end up working in the office garden way more than I will at home. Though I don’t plan on neglecting my little starter garden, made up of basic vegetables and random herbs in six small pots, I think the community garden is way more interesting and satisfying.

During my first time gardening in the office garden, I got to plant cucumbers, which I’ve never done before. I wouldn’t exactly call myself a first time gardener, but I come pretty close. My first time gardening was probably in elementary school, and I haven’t done much since. The seeds I planted in the office garden have the best chance of survival of anything I’ve ever planted. The cucumbers have a much better chance than my potted tomatoes and peppers.

The cucumbers went on the south side of the garden, which is to the left in the picture. They went next to zucchini on one side of the garden patch, and next to bush beans on the other side of the patch, which is separated by a sign and a strip of grass. The drip hose separates the cukes from the zukes, and I hope it does its job because it was nice and warm out.

After I planted three seeds, 4 inches apart, in each of the five hills Jennifer made for me, I took over watering the garden with a regular hose. Because it’s been so dry here lately, I made sure to soak my hills and everyone else’s. We planted squash and zucchini in hills, but the beans got rows. We also made sure to water everything else in the office garden that was already growing.

While I was soaking the soil, some other gardeners were thinning the turnips and beets and just doing some general weeding with a hoe, which proved to be slightly difficult because we didn’t coordinate the timing of the watering. Apparently, it’s not easy to hoe through a muddy garden.

I took a little time at the end of our lunch hour in the garden to figure out how to work the self-winding hose. I heard it was a pain to use, but I thought it was easier than having to crank the reel or wind up the hose on my own. Just flip a switch and it’s done. If only gardening were that easy…

If you dream of having cucumbers as great as those in our office garden are sure to be, check out Growing Cucumbers for some guidance.