Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Apartment Garden!

I Kill Plants: A History
I killed lucky bamboo once. For some reason I decided to keep it in my dance room, which I never used, instead of some location where I might actually see it and feel sorry for it as it withered and died. I think the rational was that it got the most sun in there, or I could leave the blinds open for it, or something. After the death of the lucky bamboo, I decided that I was not a plant person. Yet, three weeks ago I decided that maybe I should buy some plants and grow them.

There was hope for these new plants I wanted to buy. Senior year of college, my roomie Marie decided to buy our house a plant that we lovingly called our love fern. It was a spider fern? Anyway, she chose it because it was apparently pretty tough and hard to kill which she thought was perfect for us (mostly me). And we didn't kill it. Not only that but it tried to shoot off little baby ferns. So at the end of the year, Marie gave each of us a piece of our love fern. I now have two, because Suzy moved to Boston and forgot hers. So I've had these plants all by myself for a year, and neither of them have died! I also got a cactus as a present after a production of "Nosies Off!" which is also still alive!
The thing about cacti is - how can you be sure they're still alive?

Week One
I spent like, maybe $20 on dirt, planting pots, 2 already alive flowers, and 3 packets of vegetable seeds. And I figured the flowers I could maybe keep alive, but the vegetables were a different story. I vaguely remember having a unit in 2nd or 4th grade where we grew plants, and all I really remember was that the plants grew and were somewhat edible. So I read the instructions on the back of packets to see how deep to plant the seeds, and how far apart they needed to be, and I planted them. Now you have to realize that I was just using the little start pods that you get, and I had no idea what I was going to do if these things actually freaking grew, because there was no way a cucumber plant could survive in this tiny little pot that I had, but I decided that IF any of these plants actually sprouted, I could deal with them then.

Week Two
Now that nice part about really being too busy to ever be home is that I really only checked the plants every couple days to water them, so I was spared the anticipation of hourly checking to see if they'd sprouted yet. After about a week I went to water the carrots, and there were all these little green shoots coming up!!

But now what?? I can't actually grow a carrot in a 6" deep pot!! I didn't think it would actually grow! I thought I was too bad at being a grownup for such a thing to happen!! So these carrots were slightly worrisome, but also still babies so I still had some time. A few days later the cucumbers sprouted, so I realized I might actually need to get something to plant these babies in if I was going to one day be able to eat them.

Maybe I'm not good at transplanting - after moving my snapdragon to a pretty pot, it now leans very badly.
The roots probably shouldn't look like this. Maybe I should put more dirt over it, to stabalize?

Week Three 
I cleaned my cat's litterbox, and as I emptied the last of the litter into the box I had an inspiration. I could use this plastic container as a planter! Shoot, I could even paint it cool if things worked out. And luckily I'm such a lazy slob that I not only had this container, but the last empty litter container! Scissors didn't work too well to try and cut into the box, but stabbing near the top with a knife did, so I cut off the top and had my two planters, one tall and one small. "Transplanting" (in quotations because I have no idea how to do it without killing everything involved) went well for the cucumber, except that I ran out of dirt and only filled up the litter container halfway, but the carrots may have all been massacred. I'd already watered them that day, and then I had "thinned" them, so the dirt was mud and the plants were already discombobulated and basically I may have killed everything. But I planted a few more next to the sprouts, so maybe I'll get lots of baby plants soon! I'm not going to get too excited, because it did snow several miles north of my apartment, so it was probably cold and my plants probably shouldn't have been outside during the nighttime yet.

Week Four 
Yesterday, I went to the store and spent a ridiculous amount of money on 2 more flowers, 3 more packets of seed, 2 bags of dirt, and 2 ceramic pots to put plants in (one big, one small). I also got some of those real planter cells, so now I have like a million places to put these plants and I'm clearly just too enthused about this.
Today I planted a couple more carrots, cucumbers, and bell peppers as well as the new plants: Walla Walla onion,  broccoli, and stocks. I got really excited about the stocks because they're flowers and pretty. Look:
so I also sprinkled them on a pot that I'm already trying to grow something in. But the thing is - I labeled all of my pots so that I would know how to take care of them, and this one doesn't have a label. So clearly it's just a pot of dirt and now is going to be flowers. Also - planting stocks are really fun because you sprinkle them on top  of the dirt. So I pretty much wanted to sprinkle any piece of dirt I could find with the things. But I guess you're supposed to not sprinkle them too close together, and I COATED those tiny little pots, so they might all kill each other.


  1. Perhaps a book on planting from seed would be a good idea?

  2. I'm so proud of you!! (For many reasons...)
    1) You kept our baby alive. Such a good mother!
    2) You are growing your own food. Healthy, good for the environment, and economical. :)
    3) You reused your litter containers as planters! Sparing them the trip to the great pacific plastic island...
    I approve of this... Also, my roomie is growing us some basil and mint, and I have just purchased some cilantro seeds. yummy... can't wait to plant em and watch em grow!

  3. My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!

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