Urban Gardening: My Organic Dirt Patch

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

Inspired by the incredible urban gardens Jim Sherman tends in the Fifth Ward, I decided to take a shot at the urban gardening thing myself.

So I went to Wabash Feed Store and bought some dirt and some locally made organic fertilizer. San Jacinto Environmental Supplies on 34th St. makes its Microlife fertilizer out of seaweed and fish juice and that sort of stuff. Gardening types rave about its miraculous properties.

I got home and tore out a patch of jasmine in a landscape bed and replaced the soil with the store-bought stuff. I didn't buy enough. I had to go buy some more at a soil yard. I got a mushroom compost, rice hull and mulch mix and added some humus and manure. When I was all done, I had converted a bed of greenery into a dirt patch.

"That sure looks ugly," my housemate said when I summoned her to admire my handiwork. "When is it going to have some vegetables in it?" Jim Sherman warned not to expect anything for a year or so. The raised beds he showed me were ten years old and had been heavily composted, he explained. Another friend, Bobette Riner, told me that when she tried to build three raised bed gardens at her house, only one of them was successful.

I better get some tomatoes or something out of this deal by the summer, or I am going to be replanting jasmine in some very expensive organic dirt.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.