Archive for the ‘Gardening’ Category

Gardening for Physicists! Part 1

June 13, 2011

Just recently, I moved.  I know, it’s a thing that most adults do once they reach a certain age.  What’s interesting about this move was I moved from a decent sized apartment near my school to a house near the beach.  I never thought in my life that I actually would live on the beach.  I mean, on the beach if I became homeless, but I can see the beach from my window right now.  And even though it’s San Francisco, the sun is shining.
That brilliant shining sun makes me think of something:  I want a garden.  I have my own front yard, so I want to do something with it.  Now, as previously stated, I live in San Francisco by the beach, so the soil in the front yard is fairly sandy.  I called my grandfather for assistance, because he’s a former farm boy from Minnesota, and he really did help a ton.  He mentioned I should grow peas or lettuce or swiss chard, because those tend to thrive better in the cold, and it rarely gets above the 70’s this close to the water.  I have a couple options for growing these plants.  I can either plant them in the ground in this 10×10 plot in front of the house, or plant them in pots.  There’s pluses and minuses to both situations.  In the ground would be, superficially, cheaper than going out and buying the pots on top of the plants and seeds and stuff.   Unfortunately, the house has quite the snail problem.  I thought that the feral cats would help clear that up for some reason, but no.  Grandpa Ole said to use pesticides, but I had hoped to grow the vegetables as chemical free as possible.  (The scientist inside me laughs at that statement.  All things in life are due to chemical reactions.  Chemicals are not just those powders that we buy in the stores to kill pests, they’re in the soil, in the air and part of the water.  Everything has chemical reactions, so growing chemical free is impossible.  Sorry, science joke for me.)  That’s where the pots come in, but I don’t know how well they’d prevent the snails from feasting upon the fresh fruits of my labor.


My current plan is to do what I do best: read.  I found a couple different articles in Sunset magazine online and there’s also Make magazine, and I live near enough to a library to bike down sometime.  I know what you’re thinking, I’ve gone native.  And the answer to that question is no.  The actual reason is the whole guiding factor behind this whole endeavour, besides the thrill of making something useful and beautiful.  I also want to have the pride of knowing that I grew something.  Period.  I’m not widely known for my green thumb, although I did have one hell of an herb garden growing up.

Basically, it all comes down to the fact that I’m cheap as hell.


Well, I’ll keep you posted!