Our Garden, that is.
Inspecting the basil.
But it is exciting! When my first little tomato showed up, I ran around the back yard a few times and then did a happy dance. Miles looked at me like I was crazy. Then he started dancing too. It really was as cute as it sounds.
And then when JJ got home, I didn’t even give him a chance to settle in. I dragged him outside and was all, “LOOK! ITS A TOMATO!” He was happy for me, but he really did look at me like I was crazy.
And my poor leaning tomato plants. Next year I’m going to plant them in the 5 gallon buckets and rig up a better support system.
I call this box the “hot mess box”. I’m pretty sure I way overplanted this one – jalapeno, bell pepper, cilantro, sugar snap peas and cucumbers. And the cucumbers have choked out the peas. And I’m not sure why the leaves are all yellow like – over water? Under water?
I do like these boxes. Its nice to not have to water them every day. And reassuring to know that the roots are getting enough water even if its 95+ outside. But, man, I’m stressing out about the tomatoes! And the hot mess box! And I’m impatient! I want a tomato!
And you probably want me to cease work on the exclamation points!!!!
Back in March, I started some seeds – tomatoes, basil and peppers. Some seedlings made it, some did not. I’ve learned a ton and you better believe that next year, I’ll be doing things a bit different. My tomato seedlings were, according the the experts on gardenweb.com, leggy so I have since transplanted them – burying the stems – into recycled milk cartons. They already look so much better than 2 weeks ago. We’ll see what happens! I’m tempted to go out and buy a tomato plant since the ones I see at the store are much, much bigger than the plants I started from seed. And I don’t want to wait!
I decided to grow using these self-watering containers – I bought 2 from Lowe’s and 1 from Home Depot and they are the same – and convinced my friend Christy that she should use them too! Last weekend, we went out to buy our garden stuff. I convinced her that it’d be cheaper to make our own potting mix than buying pre-mixed bags. She seemed to go along with it, so we spent the afternoon mixing peat, compost, perlite and lime together in the wheelbarrow.
Christy bought plants and already has them in the containers; hers are the ones with the plastic cover already over the container. I bought a few plants – bell peppers, jalapenos and cilantro – which I put in a container with some cucumber seeds. In other containers, I’ve started salad greens and other herbs as well.
Since I’m just starting out, this project has already cost a bit of $$. JJ is hoping it pays off with some yummy tomatoes (so am I!).
Heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, baby bell peppers, oregano and two types of basil are sprouting here in my makeshift greenhouses. I’m super excited to grow vegetables and herbs. And right now I’m absolutely geeking out on my cheap ass seed starting set up.
At Home Depot, I bought a box of 36 Jiffy peat pellets for $3, a clamp light for $8, an outlet timer for $3 and a 4 pack of daylight CFLs (on sale) for $4. I dug out some plastic containers from my recycle bin for the “greenhouse”, and I cut strips from an empty half and half container for the garden labels. To help reflect the light, I made panels from a cereal box and aluminum foil. I cleared off a shelf in our spare bedroom, set the timer and plugged in the light.
I’m pretty proud of myself. Excitedly, I dragged JJ into the guest room and showed him my contraption. He looked at me like I was a weirdo (something I’m used to), but was super encouraging about the whole thing.
I’m so excited about growing our own food, that I’ve been obsessively checking the seed pots like once an hour.