Growing up, I have memories of picking veggies in our backyard. Every year my dad would plant a small patch of tomatoes, and string beans. One year, I remember him planting corn. He had a green thumb and still enjoys growing vegetables.
Unfortunately I did not inherit this talent. I have never been very good with plants. I’m pretty sure I can hear them scream when I contemplate buying one in a store. I even killed a cactus, which is like the easiest plant to take care of. I don’t know what it is about caring for these living things, I never seem to be able to find the right balance. Either I water them too much, or too little. They get too much sun, or not enough. Still, I try.
I started out this spring by getting one of those small hydroponic garden thingies. I thought maybe I would be more successful with one of those because it has a screen, tells you how much water to add and when to add nutrients. It even sets the lights on and off for you.
It was a success!
After weeks of almost being blinded by the LED grow lights, I had 2 types of basil, parsley and mint (which was labeled thyme, but it was definitely mint). Unfortunately, when I tried to transplant the basil to pots, the roots were so enormous, I had a really hard time getting them out of the container and I think that’s what did them in. Even more unfortunate, I don’t use a whole ton of fresh herbs in my cooking, so I have this lovely mint plant that is flowering, which I occasionally prune and almost lost my vision for. Still, this boosted my confidence and I decided to try my hand at actual veggies in pots.
These are the beginnings of my tomato and cucumber plants.
Most people would probably try just one kind of plant at a time, but that would be too simple! I went all out. I got tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, and strawberries. Add onto that 6 tomato, 1 cucumber and 2 pepper plants from my dad and the next thing I knew, I had a small garden on our apartment balcony.
Every day I went out and dumped water into the pots. The dirt didn’t looks too wet or dry. Fast forward and tah-dah! Pictures speak louder than words:
I know the cucumbers are all stuffed into one pot (as are the carrots), but I was really afraid of attempting to separate them and destroying them to transplant them. I figured I would have one giant mutant carrot (and I was okay with that), but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
So I think the joy factor here is obvious, even if my strawberries are a little shriveled.