I've been pushing myself to do more and learn more with the garden this year.
I started with seeds in the containers on the patio in early April - beets, radishes, and lettuce. Last year I put in a full salad garden in those containers, and then the squirrels took over and ruined everything. This time, I'm making good use of chicken wire and have built domed fortresses to keep the pests out.
Things do not live long if I have to keep them indoors, so when I came home from the winter market with tomato plants in early April, I knew they would have to go outside as soon as possible or I'd kill them fast inside than frost would outside.
I lucked out in salvaging some old windows to use as a cold frame on the four tomato plants (two red grape and two yellow pear) I'd placed in my last patio container but I ran out of container space and needed to come up with some way to keep tomatoes alive directly in my garden bed 6 weeks before our last frost date. After much googling of diy coldframes - which all seem to involve buying things - I found a blogger using large plastic storage containers to keep her plants alive.
So I dumped the box storing my sheets in the basement, planted my last three tomato starts (one cherokee purple and two yellol pear), and held the plastic box in place with a large rock from the patio. It was super classy looking:
But our last frost date *finally* passed this week and the tomatoes are a month ahead of schedule!
I was also searching for a diy plant marker solution that would use up something I already had at the house. Not a big fan of diy projects that have "go to the store and buy $$$ of stuff" as the first step. If I wanted to buy stuff, I'd go buy plant markers.
Finally I just ended up snapping some random dowel rods into 1/4 sections and attaching appropriately labeled clothespins.
This weekend, if the rain and crazy tornado storms stop, I'll get the last of the seeds in the ground. My tomato plants that I'd pre-ordered from Burpee in March finally arrived and went in last weekend, so all I have left are the string and lima beans, summer squash, and cucumbers. And the community garden bed will get another set of carrots and beets, and a row of (experimental) baby bush watermelons. The vines supposedly only grow 3 feet and can be trained up a trellis to save space.