Archive for gardening

9 days later!


The limp, sad little plant between the chives and the lemon verbena is tarragon, scored from Libertarian Boyfriend’s mom.

Look at how much the mint has grown already!

And for my inedibles:

This is the wildflower mix we bought. Picked it and the planter up at Depot. I think I actually planted them about a week or so ago. If you look very, very closely at the following pics, you’ll see teeny little plants sprouting up. I figured that they’re either wildflowers or weeds. I guess I’ll know for certain in a couple weeks!

Observations so far:

  1. I was chronically underwatering my plants.  I think this is most obvious with my basil.  In the initial photos, they all just looked sad, limp, and pretty pathetic.  After several mini-arguments with Libertarian Boyfriend re: plant watering, he took the watering can and drenched them all.  The next day, we had fairly heavy rain; once the rain stopped, I noticed that all of my plants looked perky and healthy.  I’ve been watering them since with about 3-4 liters of water every day after I wake up and every evening before I go to bed.  (So, about 6-8 liters of water a day.)  The only time I skip it is if we got rainfall at some point during the day.
  2. I think I’m loving the eggshell-coffee ground mix.  Every time we make coffee, I immediately dump the used grounds into a quart sized container from Chinese take-out.  When we make eggs, the eggshells go into the container to get crunched up and incorporated with the coffee grounds.  Doing it by hand, I’ve noticed that one of our butter knives seems to work well; our silverware has a bamboo kind of pattern and the butter knives’ handles and wide with some heft behind ’em.  I have also whizzed the coffee ground/eggshells or just eggshells with a few tablespoons of water in my food processor, which gets them nice and fine.  (For the record, I think I might switch over to the food processor method permanently.)  I can’t give you any sort of quantitative info, but it seems like my plants are loving it.
  3. My watering can was a huge waste of $5.  It spills everywhere, doesn’t really get into the roots that well, and is a giant pain to deal with.  Solution?  An empty, rinsed 2 liter of Diet Pepsi.  It’s easy for me to fill and carry, and the more slender opening better allows me to get into the roots on all my plants.
  4. Gardening, even just on my balcony, is slowly restoring my sanity.  I’m aggravated, annoyed, and frustrated with everything in the world right about now, but gardening is making me less likely to be involved in a road rage incident.  So that’s good.

So far, I’ve only killed one tiny rosemary plant, which is a good sign; the big one is still alive, but I think I missed him in the photos.  I really hope that the tarragon isn’t too shocked from being transported.  I’m keeping my eye on that little guy.  I’m also a little bit closer to getting Thai Basil, because Libertarian Boyfriend’s mom, a big-time home gardener, came across some Thai Basil seeds in her stash.  I hope I can get that to work.  I’ve read that growing herbs from seeds can be a giant headache.

I’m pretty happy with the experiment right this moment.  I can’t wait to see if I actually get happy, pretty flowers popping up and am crossing my fingers that they’re gonna grow for me!  🙂


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Spring has sprung and stuff!

We started a balcony herb garden about two weeks ago, and today, we finally made it up to Depot on a day when they had tons of herbs. Huzzah! Huzzah! We started with the first planter, and I just planted the rest of the plants about two hours ago. I really hope I don’t kill ’em all off. I would burst into tears if that happened.

Right-hand side of our balcony. From left to right: thyme, oregano, rosemary, 2 plants of each.

Front, right-hand side of balcony. The basil department.

Front, left-hand side. From left to right: The poblano pepper experiment, onion chives, and lemon verbena

Left-hand side. The mint department.

We separated the basil and mint out into their own planters because they’re totally going to take them over. The lemon verbena and poblano pepper plants were both impulse buys. I really wanted to track down some tarragon and Libertarian Boyfriend wanted to track down some cilantro. Hopefully, we’ll be able to locate both at Trader Joe’s tomorrow. Of course, I have no clue as to where we will put each of those plants. Maybe I can talk him into getting a small planter. Then again, maybe we’ll totally be able to grow them inside.

We will also be adding some Thai basil to the basil department (which is why that planter looks so sad and uncentered), a planter full of wildflowers, and we might just break down and buy one of those Topsy Turvy things. Also, the former tenant left behind a planter that appears to have some tulips planted in it. I’m going to see how well I can clear it out and we’ll just keep it as more flower space. (I’m so glad we didn’t throw it out like I wanted.)

For the record: Yeah, I know those damn Topsy Turvy jawns can easily be made, but we might just go with convenience over thriftiness on this one. Also, while I’m setting things straight, I don’t want one to grow those evil demon seeds known as tomatoes. Blech. I want it for either strawberries or to attract hummingbirds! HUMMINGBIRDS! HUMMINGBIRDS! Yes, I know that I can just plant flowers that attract hummingbirds and butterflies, but I want them to come visit me while I’m drinking coffee on the deck!

Don’t judge me.

We picked up most of our supplies at Depot: 4 3′ planters, 8 sets of railing mounts, a giant bag of “moisture control” potting soil, watering can, and 6 of our 9 plants (everything but the thyme, oregano, and rosemary, which were from Trader Joe’s). I think that the initial investment set us back about $100, but most of that was spent on the planters and the mounts, so obviously we won’t have to spend it next year. So far, the only things I’ve really done are to supplement the soil with a mix of coffee grounds and eggshells and I water the soil every day. Nothing is dead yet, so I’m hoping this means I’m doing something right.

I’m so excited about this. If I manage to turn this into a successful herb garden, I’m going to laugh at every chump who keeps buying fresh herbs at the grocery store.

Just sayin’.

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