Saturday, April 23, 2011

Basement Gardening

I'd put it off way too long. We moved last June mind you. But had I put together the gardening portion of the basement? Nope. I just tossed things in the corner. But now that I'm actually gardening, I need to be able to find thing when I need them.

The first order of business was to put together a storage unit to hold a lot of the crap I have. These things go together very easily with two people. With one it is a touch harder, but not too bad. I made the bottom shelf tall enough to hold the bags of fertilizer standing up. We have never had water in the basement, but I didn't want to risk anything so it is now all off the ground except for some tomato cages and some old flats.

OK it doesn't look like much but you should have seen the before

Now I can find things again. Did you know that I have two unopened bags of bird netting? I have a roll of black plastic and a roll of IRT mulch. I have two bags of diatomaceous earth. I found a small bag of bonemeal. Why it wasn't in the blue container that holds my bone meal, I'll never know. Surely I cleaned all this out when I moved.

On the other side in the corner of the basement I have my poles stacked up. They were crying out to be used. I wanted to make an arch over my path near the back with them. I wanted it about 3 1/2' wide and spanning the brick path. I want to grow the runner beans up and over the path. I think it would look really pretty like that. So I got started in making it.

It's not done yet, but the two end pieces are mostly done. They might need more bracing. Before I put them up I'll run string up and down one end for the beans to grab hold of. I hope they can get all the way over the top in a summer.

I didn't spend my whole day in the basement however. I finally got the row cover on my spinach so I won't have to pick off leaf miner eggs. That would be way too much of a chore for this large patch.

Now I have two white caterpillars in my yard. I really hate the look of row covers. If they didn't work so well I'd toss them in a second. Sadly the nasty wind storm of yesterday tore part of my other row cover. I'm going to have to get out and patch it sometime in the next few days.

After I came back in I decided to do one last chore. I seeded the lawn with some white clover. The smallest bag was two pounds. Do you know how much two pounds of clover is. Well way too much. The bag of innoculant was too large for me too. I was only over seeding the lawn a bit. I wasn't trying to cover it all up. So hopefully soon they will germinate and then we will have a nice mix of grass and clover. My townhouse mate was happy when I showed her the first dandelion in the lawn. I know most people hate them, but I've always loved them in the lawn and so does my neighbor. So they get to live happily here.


  1. Your basement looks great to me! I just can't seem to get mine under control. It's been 3 years since "The Italian" sold his house and moved here before we got married and we are still trying to organize!

    That trellis is going to be great! Can't wait to see it up!

  2. I can't wait to see the finished arch!

  3. A basement! You are so fortunate to have one! I wish I did.

  4. I wish I had a basement. I had a huge one in my previous house, and an entire room of shelves for canned goods.

    I bought row cover this year, but it warned about retaining so much heat, I was afraid to use it over the spinach. If the netting doesn't work this year, I'll have to try it. My uncovered spinach already has the eggs showing.

  5. Looks good! I'd like to see the finished arch, too. I never have dandelions in my lawn for long...Carly (our young dog) eats them the minute she sees a flower...she loves dandelions (and most other vegetables).

  6. Your basement sure looks a lot neater than mine. I really need to do some spring cleaning down of these days.:) I can't wait to see your beans cliimbing the trellis.

  7. I like the idea of clover. I have a particularly pernicious patch of lawn that just dies back year after year. I wonder if clover would be a good choice? Can it keep the crab grass at bay?

  8. Oh please come and do my basement. I have boxes down there that have not been opened since we moved here: 30 years ago!!

  9. I'm with Veggie PAK and Granny, I wish I had a habitable basement. Ours is an old dirt-floored basement from 1881, full of spiders and a scary overturned bathtub on a dirt pile in one corner.

    I am with you on the row cover. It works so well, but man, it is ugly. If Granny's netting works, that might be an option. Here's hoping.

  10. Your basement look very neat and in order. You just gave me an idea, if I live in a place suitable for growing bamboo, I should plant some.

  11. I wish I had a real basement. When I was growing up and at my grandparents' house there were real basements with storage for preserves, etc. Heck, there was even a genuine attic, sniffle.

  12. Well, at least you have a basement....i'd love to have one to tinker in...

  13. Do you have texas tomato cages that fold down for storage under the shelving? I am in the market for new tomato cages. Our tomatoes end up about 8 ft tall and our current cages are no match. I am seriously considering texas tomato cages but I wish I could touch them and test their sturdiness before I buy them based on how expensive they are.

  14. Robin, Well the rest of the basement still needs work. It is a real mess and some of it will be easy to clean up. But we keep doing other things on the weekends.

    Katrina, me either

    Veggie Pak, we had a smaller one at our last house, but that house had a garage to store things in too.

    Granny, well I use the stairs going down into the basement for my canned goods. Then I don't have to climb the stairs when I want to cook.

    Deb, we had a dog a while back but she never weeded. She did eye my carrots with desire at times. Only once did she try digging them up though.

    Mr H, I can't wait for my beans at all. I have so many of them this year.

    mediaOrganic, I can only hope it helps the lawn out. It ought to or at least fill in. And if not well it has flowers for the bees.

    Lynda, lol then just toss them. If you haven't opened them how important can it be?

    Ali, oh I hate those basements. Those are the basements were monsters live. No self respecting monster would inhabit my basement. Its too new.

    Diana, Yes that would be good. Go clumping though. The running type takes over the world.

    Karen Anne, I've never had a real attic. I love the old partially finished type ones that have real access to them. We don't have that at all.

    EG, we have a tiny workshop area. If you lived here it would have to be a lot bigger.

    Vanessa, yes I have Texas tomato cages for my big tomatoes and smaller less sturdy cages for the short tomatoes. I used them for the first time last year (without extensions). I loved them. They never had any issues. But they were also against a wall so the wind issues weren't all that high. They are very very sturdy wire. 1/4" wire. They seem really well put together and fold up easily. I bought some extensions for this year since they were too short for the tall tomatoes. Now they can go high enough that they will be hard to pick. They will be in an exposed location this year and taller, so I'll see how they do in the wind. I sincerely doubt the wind could bend them at all. They are strong. But will they tip over anyway? There are four prongs that go into the earth, each about a foot long. I'm hoping it is enough.

  15. The trellis looks like it is going to be effective and attractive. My garden supplies are in the shop. We have "his" and "hers" sides of the building and both of us have messes in there! LOL! I need to do a tidy up in there this summer while it is fairly empty of things (the cages etc are out in the garden which makes more room).

    Your organized basement area looks terrific. Well done!

  16. Wow, fantastic job on cleaning out the basement. I totally need to get shelving like that too! The row covers are a great idea. We have lots of bugs that eat the leaves off our vegetation.