I have never claimed to have a "green thumb", unless of course, you count when I've made a mess while painting. Mostly everything I have ever tried to grow dies before it bears fruit. I think I know what the problem is. I just forget to water and care for the plants most of the time. (Yep, that'll do it) Most of my time is spent making art and I haven't yet found just the right balance for both gardening and art
Last year I had very good luck with a cherry tomato plant. I had tomatoes almost every night with my salad. They were so good, sweet and juicy, that I decided to save some of the seeds from the plant and try my luck with them again this year. So, I got an early start and planted my seeds in February. I planted some apple seeds I saved from the good and juicy HoneyCrisp that I bought at the grocery. I never thought they would grow at all and they were the last to pop up, out of the tomato, lettuce and pepper seeds I planted. Of course I don't know the first thing about growing apple trees, it was an experiment. I just wanted to see if I could get them to grow. And they did! YAY!

I joined a seed club on YouTube, started by a friendly fellow and avid gardener, Ray, aka Praxxus55712. You should visit him on YouTube if you're into gardening. He has a lot of wonderful tips and great How-To videos. I think you will enjoy his channel.  http://www.youtube.com/user/Praxxus55712
So, today I am going to transplant the strong seedlings to larger pots and start some new seeds in their place. My plan is to have a rotating crop of fresh veggies all summer and on into the fall. (Wish me luck) I feel more attached to these small and dainty plants this year, quite possibly because I started them from seed. I feel like I am their "God" and I can't let them die. Weird, eh? Well, it's funny because I do talk to the little green things every day when I water them and turn them with the sun. Ha! Insane in the membrane. 

I've even begun a small compost factory in my kitchen. I have two coffee cans which I rotate from the stove to the shelf over the dryer. The can on the stove gets filled with used coffee and tea grounds each day. When it is about 1/2 full, I toss in a cup or two of soil along with a handful of dried crushed leaves and stir occasionally, every few days. I keep the can covered with a wash cloth so the mixture can breathe.  In a few weeks, the mixture becomes a rich, dark compost to add to the potting soil. Because I am an apartment dweller, I don't put anything else in this compost as I don't want to attract insects, flies or a raunchy stench. (However, adding some earthworms might be a great idea and if I ever get to a bait shop, I just might try that in the future.) A few years ago, I left a container outside my apartment building because flies got into it. I had filled the container with kitchen compost of all sorts of things, so when the egg shells and other food materials began to rot, I couldn't stand the disgusting stench and placed the container outside. There was a hole in the bottom of the bucket and unbeknownst to me, while the container was sitting on top of the dirt in the yard, earthworms had crawled inside. When I went to toss the bucket in the trash a few weeks later, a pile of rich, dark soil-like material fell out of the bottom of the bucket when I lifted it off the ground. That was the best homemade compost I'd ever seen.  I called it "Black Gold"! I was in the process of moving, so I gave it to my neighbor who promised to use it in his garden that spring. I wish I had taken it with me to my new apartment because I began to grow strawberries on the window sill of my new place that year. The strawberries came back last year, I hope they will this year too.

I have also planted some Marigolds from the seeds my friend Patti gave to me from her garden. I've heard these flowers help to keep the insects away, and believe me, I need all the help I can get to make my garden grow. Ha! The only plant I have been extremely lucky with growing has been the philodendron. I think it is because the plant can actually communicate with me. It gets visibly droopy when it's thirsty so I know when to water it. Many other plants don't show any signs of being thirsty until it is too late and then they just drop dead. So, like I said, I am these little seedlings God in a way, since they really are at my mercy, at least until it is warm enough to put them outside and then they can pray for rain from the real God, in case their pseudo-God, (me) doesn't remember to give them a drink.



03/22/2011 7:52pm

Do you grow your plants on a balcony? I live in an apt., too.


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