BTW the book in question is called "Mandy" by Julie Edwards.
It's about a lonely, poor girl at an orphanage who discovers a hidden cottage over the fence of the orchard in the backyard of the orphanage...she realizes no one has lived in the cottage for many years so she decides to fix it up and make it "a place of her own."
That's what I would love the most about having a GARDEN! A place of my own! Fresh, wonderful-smelling flowers everywhere! Veggies to eat! (Although I don't think Mandy grew veggies!) Fruits to make into preserves! Herbs for cooking! Ahhh I can see it now. :)
I plan to get some wooden planks and nails and build a little structure for vines and other plans to attach to. Maybe little rows of lettuce, potatoes...who knows what else!
When I was little, and didn't live on a gigantic slag heap (no joke), my parents harnessed the rich power of the local soil in our back yard to grow tons and tons of veggies and other deliciousness. They even made my baby food out of their home picked vegetables! My dad said it was the most delicious experience ever and I think he seems to regret not being able to have such a garden in our new house. :S
I am not sure how conducive St. Louis is to gardening but I guess I am about to find out! I think I am in "zone 6a."
My post is getting longer by the second here, so I'll just write more and put more pics after the read more jump.
This is something that I am aiming to get:
Sort of a little box type thing for plants. Cool.
Jam would be nice.....mmmm jam.
I want to grow fruits like raspberries and strawberries and make them into preserves!
I bet I could even make pickles with cucumbers from my garden! :o) Corn is kinda tricky...but maybe I will give it a shot anyway. I plan on starting my seeds indoors in peat pots to start out with.
Here is some wonderful advice I got from someone on yahoo answers.
"I love a roof garden. Get fresh potting soil, (growing medium) and compost (organic, and most gardeners consider this better) or fertilizer (chemical). Remember, the veggies will take in the minerals and whatever else is in the soil and end up in you! Start your seeds indoors about 8 weeks before the last frost date in your area (check http://www.usna.usda.gov/Hardzone/ushzma… if you need this data). I like to use peat pots because they act as pots and then go right into the soil. The roof will warm up at least a week before the ground level soil. If you really want to take full advantage of this- and I would because you could extend your growing season significantly on the roof - buy a soil thermometer. Most garden centers carry them and some test soil pH or moisture as well so they are very useful . (I got one a year ago for under $20. at a home improvement store) Use the thermometer to check the soil temp on the roof and on the ground so you can see the advantage you are gaining. For most plants the temp should be at least 50 degrees. Some plants need more warmth, some less.
On the roof, you could probably start lettuce in a "covered row" in Feb Covered row: arcs of coat hanger wire with plastic sheeting draped over to make a mini greenhouse.
Peas in Feb too started in a covered row with the row ends open on any day the outside temp is 45 deg or more. This is OK for carrots, radish, cabbage family, parsley, chives. When the soil is at warm, start green beans- on a trellis
When the soil is fully warmed up and no more cold nights, it is time for tomatoes, peppers, melons, zucchini and the tender herbs: basil, oregano, Plant some marigolds- they are so easy and pretty with a variety of heights and bloom sizes - very easy for a beginner. Zinnias are nice to and have lovely colors - great for cutting
I hope you have a lovely time- don't forget some nice lawn chairs and a big hat to shade your eyes as you sit and survey your "back 40"
I am wiping the drool off my keyboard and let you get started on this neat adventure."
I would like to keep track of the garden progress in my blog so stay tuned, haha. I will probably post a photo of the empty roof space so you guys have an idea of how much space I have to work with!