I love plants. I love the way they look, the way they smell, the way they respond to light and water or the lack thereof… Lately, I’ve become interested in home gardening. What’s not to love about it? You decide what you want to grow, you watch your seedlings sprout, you tend them, water them, pull the weeds around them, and eventually you see and enjoy the literal fruits of your labor. And we all know that freshly picked produce tastes the best and is the most nutritious. Growing your own food also eliminates the hassle and cost of going to the grocery store. Plus, you control everything that goes on your veggies so you don’t have to worry about contamination and pesticide residue.
So what do you do if you’re like me and have no spot of ground in which to plant?
There are several options for us to choose from. Many cities have community gardens where you can rent a garden plot for a minimal fee. There are also a growing number of CSA groups that you can join and receive fresh produce from a local farm. Farmers markets are also a good place to find excellent produce.
I decided to grow a micro-garden. It’s harder than I thought.
I’ve discovered that my “green thumb” is more of a wilted brown. My first hint should’ve been the low survival rate of my house plants. But that was probably due to the low light conditions, right? Besides, how hard could it be to grow herbs in your windowsill? So I planted my seeds. I followed all directions on the seed packets and I was so delighted when they sprouted out of the rich potting soil. I let them grow a bit inside and then decided they needed to see the sun so I put them out on the front porch. We had a cold snap and wind that night. They were all dead by morning.
Undaunted, I replanted my pots. Not wanting to repeat my mistakes, I kept the seedlings inside on the windowsill. I made sure they stayed well watered. A little too well watered. I flooded the pots and the weak-rooted herbs fell over and died.
A little discouraged, I replanted. I bought a spray bottle to spritz the young seedlings. Now that summer was in full force I put the seedlings out on the porch. They are growing, but it looks like a lot of the seeds just didn’t sprout this time. I don’t know if they’ll survive the summer.
What am I doing wrong with my herbs?