Friday, June 3, 2011

Sniper Planting

This is a term Chrissie coined for one of my hobbies. It is planting something somewhere, seemingly at random. I like to plant things in places that people have come to ignore. My favorite things to plant do well without human intervention (it's no fun coming back to something that's dead) and are perennial (it may be a while until I see them again).

Sniper planting appeals to me for a few reasons. First, I like planting things and watching them grow. Second, it's kind of devious (and I like being devious). I like to think of it as tagging with plants. Some may find this odd, but it can't be more weird than this. Third, some of things that you plant could become free food in the future.

My recent sniper planting has been geared towards more constructive purposes. Here are some potatoes I planted randomly in the back yard:

This poor little guy got run over by the lawn mower.

Actually, not really randomly. I had some guidelines to follow. First, Chrissie told me they couldn't be planted in the middle of the lawn (even though I think that's where they'd do the most good). Second, they had to be planted in locations where the soil was really hard. Why would I want to put potatoes in hard soil? It's part of my Soil Reclamation project for the house. I'll write a full post about that later. For now, I'll say that when we got here the soil was crap. There was no top soil to speak of and the ground was rock hard. Not ideal conditions for growing things. The potatoes address both of these issues. They have very strong root systems which can break and loosen hard soil, even clay. Then, if you leave them in the ground, they will eventually die and return organic matter to the soil.

Daikon radish is another plant that was well suited for this job, but I couldn't find any of them. Potatoes are a plenty here though and they like growing in our climate, so I think the project will be pretty successful.

Here's another plant that I snipered into our back yard too. It's garlic.

Friends of ours had garlic growing rampant in their back yard and gave some to us. We ate most of it but I snipered one into the ground. That was last year. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw this guy's shoots come up during the spring. (Chrissie was more genuinely surprised).

Anyway, if you are ever in the neighborhood and find an edible plant (randomly) in the ground, it may have been me... or it may not have been. If it was me and you're hungry, you have my full blessing to grab some and eat it. Or take some and plant it somewhere yourself.

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