On a recent lunchtime shortcut, I spotted a sweet spot for some illicit guerrilla gardening.
A tight group of cement planners had been relieved of their duties and were being stored in a quiet corner behind the strip mall at the Raley's Supermarket on Folsom.
The retired planters were filled with spider webs and dead weeds, but they had lots of potential. The shape was not unattractive and they looked like they could stop a tank. The dead brush looked superficial.
The planters were tall, which meant that plants in them would be nicely positioned for care. Also, this spot looked like it would get full sun for 8-10 hours per day.
I decided to clear out the weeds and to try planting a little vegetable garden oasis.
There was a water spigot, but the handle had been sawn off, leaving only a little brass nub. If I could grasp it with some locking pliers, it would make irrigation a lot easier.
There was very little foot traffic on this service road, but one loitering group of teen got my attention immediately. Would they threaten my guerrilla tomato harvest? The planters would put the plants up to perfect tee-ball height.
A few days later I returned with a tiny shovel and trowel. I scraped the weeds off of three planters and tilled the soil a bit. The soil looked extremely promising. It was soft and loose.
I also noticed that the water spigot was on slightly. It had a fast drip.
I enlisted a 3-liter bottle and reclaimed some of the water. The soil in the planters was super dry. Maybe I would need some mulch on these.
How much water would I need to keep nine planters growing? I would probably need a hose and a pair of locking pliers if I didn't want to haul 10 bottles here every day.
The next day, I was ready to plant!
I scrambled out of work on my lunch break and picked up some tomato seeds at Home Depot. I also bought a pepper plant, a cucumber and a tomato plant. I was already planning my best selling how-to guide, "Parking Lot Harvest in 30 Minutes a Day"
"That tomato is a late harvest, but you had better get that in the ground today." the garden cashier warned.
I nodded with a little inward smile. Baby, I'm going to have this tomato planted before your next bowel movement.
Or maybe not.
I got back to the mall and the planters were gone! What lousy timing! My plans were ruined!
Those damn kids!
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June 18, 2009.