Wednesday, July 09, 2008
I'm Not the Worst Garderner In the World!
Remember last year when I was complaining about killing off mint? Well, I'm still killing off mint. I don't understand. I moved it to a less sunny spot and it was doing so well through this winter, and now it's gone all scraggly again. As you can see here, almost all the lower leaves have turned brown and dropped off. Maybe it's the heat. Maybe it's the fact that it's been raining for a month (I did my best to keep it shaded). I know it isn't root-bound because I re-potted it recently. Oh well, maybe mint's just happier in cooler weather. But everything else is doing much better.
I managed to grow a lot of things from seed this spring, which is a first for me.
Thai and Italian basil:
Well, the green pot on the right was a gift, but the others I grew from seed.
Now I have more basil than I can possibly eat.
Marjoram: inexplicably stringy-looking, but otherwise healthy.
Parsley: I didn't know parsley grew this big.
And check this out. I planted bell pepper seeds from a bell pepper I ate, not really expecting anything to come of it, and I actually got a mini bell pepper. It was amazing to watch it grow on the stem (I swear it got bigger overnight), but it only reached a couple inches diameter when it dropped off. I have no idea why. Still tasted decent, if a bit bitter. I made hummus with it. If I'm lucky I'll get a couple more peppers before winter.
Meanwhile, I've been keeping my thyme alive. The one in the middle was a gift from Ceddy and Char at my housewarming party. I nearly killed it and for months only a few little sprigs on it survived, like the last holdout strands of hair on a baldie in denial. It would die, it would grow back, it would die again. More water, less water, made no difference. I called it the Zombie Thyme. Eventually I re-potted it in a half-gravel half-potting soil mix, and it made a miraculous recovery.
You sure learn some odd things on gardening sites. Who knew that chamomile tea and cinnamon are anti-fungal agents? That's how I prevented my basil seedlings from keeling over from damping-off disease this time around.
I also learned that commercial potting soil is usually too heavy. You've got to mix a bunch of perlite and vermiculite into it. So now I joke about spending my money on not just any dirt, but executive dirt.
My experiment with soil-less hydroculture was also an abject failure. Unless you stick to water-loving, abuse-proof houseplants, you have to go pretty high tech for it to work.
So maybe by now, I deserve promotion to World's Second, or possibly Third Worst Gardener? Because I'm still killing mint.