how to start a crack garden

April 22, 2015 Baltimore, MD, USA

This title sounds ridiculous and I'm absolutely fine with that. (Really, though, I googled "crack garden" to find that it clearly is a term and nothing terribly new. Lots of cool pics)

We moved into our first house last July when everything was in full bloom: vegetables, flowers, weeds...yes, weeds. The homes on our block are 100 years old and things deteriorate over this time. In this case, some cracks had formed in the concrete steps and weeds had spring out. Ugly, you guys. So ugly.

Except for Ms. Vicky. Two doors down from me, I noticed something. Springing from her cracks (again, sounds lovely, huh?) were not weeds, but flowers. It was unique and beautiful. As she came outside to water her potted plants (she has lovely flowers everywhere), I asked her how her crack flowers came about (in a much more polite fashion).

"They just happened," she insisted. Right.

That July and the remaining warm months were spent settling in, painting, cleaning, decorating, furnishing...all that new home stuff that we still haven't completed nine months later. Gardening was not on my radar. Next year, I promised myself. Next year I will have lovely crack flowers rivaling Ms. Vicky's.

(Who am I kidding? Her thumbs are clearly green and mine are black. I'll be thrilled if anything I grow this year comes out half as good as her plants.)

But, a promise is a promise, so on top of the veggie growing, I've begun my attempt at a crack garden. And since we all know they don't "just happen," I gave it my best guess. Here's what I did:
  1. Get rid of the nasty weeds (I'll spare you all the true before photos). I put on some gloves, tore and dug out what I could, then doused the area with homemade weed killer (thanks, Pinterest). No icky chemicals here.
    The biggest of the cracks (technically my neighbor's), de-weeded and treated
  2. Wait a day.
  3. Mix soil in a container with water to a muddy consistency. I used a disposable plastic bowl and fork.
  4. Scoop the soil mixture into the cracks.
  5. Press flower seeds into the soil mixture (I used the seeds that came in the pitiful excuse for greeting cards that I reviewed back in March. Glad they're good for something!).
    All filled in. Can't wait to see beautiful flowers instead of ugly weeds!
  6. Water as needed and wait for growth!
Unfortunately taking pictures wasn't on my radar last summer, but I promise I'll follow up. If my crack garden fails, I'll at least show you Ms. Vicki's and you can ooh and ahh with me at how pretty and cool-looking it is.

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