â€¦gonna make my garden grow. All it takes is a rake and a hoe and a piece of fertile ground.
That was a song I learned during childhood, and it still sometimes haunts me when Iâ€™m â€œgardening.â€ You see, my thumb is about as green as coffee. Oh, whatâ€™s that? Coffee is brown? Yes, exactly! I have a brown thumb. This brown thumb could kill a cactus with minimal effort. So where the song makes gardening seem so easy with a rake, a hoe and a piece of fertile ground, I have to laugh because itâ€™s not so easy for me. So it was quite surprising to the hubby and to myself when I decided to try and grow some herbs and vegetables this year.
I didnâ€™t go all out and dig up a garden in our yard. Where we live, yard space is a precious commodity, so I wasnâ€™t ready to give up part of the yard for a garden that may or may not survive my wrath. Instead, I decided on a potted garden on our deck.
I started this whole experiment (some may call gardening a hobby, but itâ€™s most definitely an experiment for me!) about 2 weeks ago. I hit our local Home Depot and scouted out their herb section. There was this great starter kit with 4 nice little pots in a planter. The packaging mentioned something about â€œeverything you need to start your own herb garden.â€ This apparently includes cow patties.
Oh, I kid. These were actually soil patties that, once you add water, PRESTO:
So day 1 of my herb garden looked like this:
From left to right, we have parsley, cilantro, chives and oregano.
But I didnâ€™t stop there! I love home grown tomatoes. They just taste so much better than store bought tomatoes. And my mother-in-law is always giving me â€œextrasâ€ from her garden, and I even had a friend give me some from her topsy turvey because it was just overflowing with tomatoes. So I thought to myself, â€œSelf, if tomatoes are so easy to grow, then maybe you should give it a try.â€ So here is my tomato plant on day 1.
And since the kids were excited about my experiment, they picked out a strawberry plantâ€¦
â€¦which we bought with a little bit of a head start.
So, the usual culprit of me killing plants is pretty simpleâ€¦I forget to water them. I just donâ€™t think about them and by the time I remember to water them, itâ€™s usually too late. My mother-in-law has rescued a few from me before and Iâ€™ll go to her house a few months later and she would have already taken my same, dying plant and transplanted it into THREE huge pots because it got so big. But this time, I knew I was going to be writing about it, which holds me accountable for the love and care of these plants and Iâ€™m happy to report that so far none have bit the dust. In fact, check out what I have growing on my tomato plant:
Itâ€™s an actual tomato! No photoshopping, no stock photo, this thing can be seen live and in the flesh on my deck. And the strawberry plant isnâ€™t looking too shabby either.
And here are my herbs:
The oregano is on the wimpy side, but the parsley and cilantro are lookinâ€™ good. The chives are still iffy, but Iâ€™m not giving up!
Whatâ€™s great about this experiment, is I could, in the near future, be saving money on tomatoes, strawberries and herbs. But also, I know what Iâ€™m feeding my family by growing my own foodâ€¦no chemicals or pesticides. If this experiment is a success, I just may have to give up a patch of my yard to grow even more vegetables.
What do you have growing in your yard or in pots? Any advice for the inexperienced gardener?