Quarantine Gardening

Kailyn McKay

The Charter Opinion


Recently we have all been confined to being home instead of being out with friends and socializing.  This has been hard on many people who usually go outside or have a daily routine of leaving and doing things instead of sitting at home eating every hour and watching reruns on Netflix. People all over social media, actors, actresses, famous and not famous people have been creating their own gardens and re-creating their backyards. 

Deborah Brenner, a teacher at ACA, has been working at her house with her family in her yard. They started by making raised beds for their garden. Her and her cousin Nikita Jones, made the raised beds by putting together 2in x 6in´s. 

Diana McKay, a parent at ACA also Deborah’s sister, shared her steps for planting this garden she helped on.

1)Take an egg carton, put potting soil in it, put one or two seeds in each of the egg holders. Make sure you label what you planted on the carton. 

2) Then you water it really well, so that it’s wet but not dripping. Put it in a 2 ½ gallon plastic bag and you can fit two egg cartons in there.

3) Then close it all but a little hole, blow it up to make it look like a balloon and seal it. 

4) Then put it in a place that is in direct sun. 

5) And you wait, depending on the plant some things like radishes and swiss chard show up in a week, other things take at least two weeks for anything to show up, such as beans and  bigger plants.

6) After this, you make sure they’re big enough. Also that they look like seedlings and not just little shoots. You want them at least two inches tall. 

7) You can either cut the egg carton apart, and plant it in the ground. Some plants you want to separate because two or three plants can come up.

 8) You dig a little whole with your finger, stick it in.

9) Make sure you water it the same day you planted it, otherwise they may not make it. If it’s rainy and cloudy, you do not want to water them, but if it’s hot and dry you’re going to want to do this everyday.  Make sure you are watering them deep. You’re going to want to water them for a couple hours. If the dirt on top is dry then check everyday to see if you need to, because if the soil  is still damp then you can skip a day.

They’ve been working on this garden for about two weeks. And they try to get their supplies as cheap as they can, or even for free. Doing so is great in a situation like quarantine, because stores aren’t always going to be open, available, or stocked with the supplies you need.

Brenner said ¨We did a lot of research for the free stuff. Research as in, online searching for our supplies. We were able to use a lot of reclaimed wood from neighbors and families. We were also able to get free mulch, woodchips, branches, cardboard and fill dirt. We researched a way to fill the boxes with little to no money and we layered them with cardboard, branches and alpaca poo covered straw. We watched a lot of Youtube videos of this layering method, some people are calling it lasagna gardening. It is actually called Hugelkultur.¨ 

According to the Master Gardener Society of Oakland, Hugelkultur is a “Raised garden bed that is built from the bottom up with logs, sticks and branches, wood chips, grass clippings, manure, leaves, food scraps, egg shells, coffee grounds… everything you would put into a compost heap.”     

Having a garden is great, in times like these. Times of uncertainty and the unknown thoughts of where we are now getting our fruits and veggies from. Producing an at home garden is a fun and healthy way to keep you busy and your home filled with beautiful greens and tasteful fresh produce.

It was so fun being able to work with my mom, Diana and aunt, Deborah, on this crafty project.

Master Gardener Society Of Oakland County Inc. https://mgsoc.info/2019/01/hugelkultur-what/

Brenner, Deborah. Personal Interview. May 13, 2020.

Jones, Nikita. Personal Interview. May 13, 2020.

McKay, Diana. Personal Interview. May 13, 2020.