Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My not-very-green thumb

I have always wanted a garden. When I was young, my parents let me experiment in the back yard from time to time, but I never harvested anything more than a rotten pumpkin and three ears of buggy corn. Ever since I heard about self-sufficiency, tho, my interest has been peaked. I wanted to try a garden --for real -- this year.

Now, a few realities of my situation: I live in an apartment, on the second floor, with only a small balcony. I have no idea of the difference between a weed and a seedling. My father-in-law offered to "coach" me if I'll come spend some time this summer in his large garden, and the Internet is a literal cornucopia of information. After taking a deep breath and getting my husband to laughingly hand me the check book, I've set out on this adventure.

Any of you experienced gardeners, feel free to laugh heartily at what I next say. I horribly over-seeded and over-watered my little peat pellet greenhouse tray thing I got for $6 at Wal-mart. It molded *gasp*. After clearing out as much of the yuck as I could, I still had a good amount of seedlings. The next challenge is in the growing of them. Pots are EXPENSIVE! So I wandered around a little while and hit upon a wonderful discovery....

A Rubbermaid sale! So my little garden will be grown in big plastic tubs filled with dirt. My husband was once again entertained. He laughed as he exclaimed, "Well, if you fail, at least we'll have more storage boxes!" My little green friends are hanging out by the balcony door until it gets a little warmer out. I'm amazed how much they've grown already -- it's only been a week and a half! This is the "salad" box, I've got a few others scattered at other sunny windows.

Here's my list of attempted veggies. My goal is to have fresh salad at least once or twice this summer ;-) :

  1. Cucumbers (4in super sweets)
  2. Summer Squash (a mini variety, 3 - 5")
  3. Mixed lettuce
  4. Spinach
  5. Cherry tomatoes
  6. Spearmint (for tea)
  7. Chamomile (also for tea)
  8. and Impatiens to fill a pretty flower pot I got as a wedding gift

This certainly is an adventure. I'm not sure what I've gotten myself into, and I'm scared to death of killing everything before it even sees the great outdoors (of an inner city balcony). Maybe God will laugh, too, and allow me to harvest an abundant crop.


Sarah Jane said...

Good for you!! I hope your plants do well, and that you enjoy the vegetables you grow this year.

I'm a terrible gardener (lack of self discipline when it comes to weeding) but since we actually have space this year for a good size garden I'm going to try to get as much out of it as I can.

That's a great idea on growing your veggies in containers. My mom grows hers in raised beds and this year I'm trying square foot gardening. Hopefully we'll all have really good results!

Mrs. G said...

I think it's wonderful that despite your many obstacles you're going to try anyway. Good for you for taking what steps you can in the place you're in! I hope your garden yields abundantly and you get a real sense of satisfaction from it!