May 20, 2013

How does your garden grow?

Until recently, I had no ambition to try and grow anything except for my clothing collection. Not flowers, not vegetables, not herbs. It didn't make a whole lot of sense since my Dad used to have a rather impressive vegetable garden inhabiting the back half of our yard. He grew rows and rows and rows and rows...and rows.. of green and yellow beans, which would then be picked and frozen to eat during the winter months. He would have cherry and normal sized tomatoes, peppers, and once I believe he tried to grow strawberries which ended up as a snack for the birds.

He also planted sunflowers.
And gladiolas.

So, gardening is in my family. I am going to just come out and make the assumption that, until this year, I had neither the ambition, nor the means to make a decent garden. It is, after all, a little difficult to grow tomatoes when you are working at a camp or living in a dorm room.

It surprised me, more than anyone, that I suddenly have this overwhelming urge to turn my world into a green and growing paradise. So, because of my unfortunate lack of funds, I have jumped on the kitchen-scrap-garden bandwagon and taken to trying my own experiments in mason jars and small planters on the jane-eyre window sill of our dining room.

 First up is the green onions and romaine lettuce plants.

Green onion is easy. You save the bottoms, stick them in a jar or cup, immerse in water, and wait. Within a week they will have have regrown to near their original height (provided you've found a sunny place) and then you can keep chopping off what you need when you need it. I've harvested from these probably 5 times already, and they just keep growing.

The romaine lettuce I started today. I need to keep the bottom immersed in water until they begin to regrow roots, and then they will be transplanted into a pot.

Well, specifically this pot.

The celery currently inhabiting the one side was in the mason jar which now hold the lettuce. It finally started developing roots, and I transplanted it into this smallish black window planter this morning. I used a clotheshanger to make the sign (and you will notice that clothespins were also used to make the signs for the lettuce and green onions).

Now. Side story.
I tried growing peppers from seeds in my peppers. Turns out that doesn't work. I started the seedlings in an egg carton in April (like Pinterest told me) in a mix of potting mix and garden soil. I tried everything to get them to grow. I watered them every day, I put them in sunlight, I danced for them, and I even played them a healthy dose of Jack Johnson in the hopes that their little seedlings spirits would be filled with springtime joy - images of birds and bees and ladybugs and sitting by the lakeside soaking up the sunshine and listening to Bob Marley...

Turns out, my pepper seeds had no imagination and no capability to grow. I gave up and surrendered them to decompost in the backyard.

Adding some ribbon and twine to the outsides of the mason jars (and just ribbon to the pot) has given these a fun inside touch.

This week I plan on fixing this:

Cite our horrendous backyard.

What you can't see is the sprouting grass which is starting to come up after this week's rainstorms. We are supposed to be getting more rain tonight and tomorrow, so hopefully that will prompt the stubborn grass to grow in our poor, dusty backyard.

I also put bulbs in the fridge this week that I plan on pulling out mid-July and trying to grow again.

'Tis the season, I suppose.

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