Thursday, May 1, 2014

Urban garden update, April 28th.

(I'm trying something special this year and am keeping a "photo blog," telling my story mostly through images but with a bit of description added as well, concerning my first-ever year of being an urban gardener. Check the "Garden 2014" photoset at my Flickr account for the entire series, including more photos for each entry than you see here.)

April 28: Time for my fourth round of seeding! This time I went with more sugar snap peas, although this time from a brand-new seed packet I got at the store yesterday; the other ones were part of this bag full of seed packets my friend Carrie gave me back in March, the age of which nobody knew, and of the ten seeds I planted from that, only one sprouted, which makes me think that they're probably past their expiration date. I also did my first seedings of chamomile and lavender, as well as a whole bunch of coleus, which if you don't know are those plants with the crazy multi-colored leaves; I figure if these do well, they might serve nicely as a big bushy rainbow on the two wooden tables I currently have in front of my windows, which will basically be the main visual focal point for the whole garden when company is over and hanging out on the couch.

I also repotted the last of my March 10th basil that ended up sprouting (making it official now that all the 50 seeds I tried on the first round have either now been given up on or translated into adult pots), as well as the cinnamon basil and spinach I seeded on April 8th, and a handful of moonflower plants from April 21st that have already grown larger than my plastic bins; so that now gives me seven full containers of edible stuff as of today, which I'm incredibly happy with. I did a little experiment with the second half of my March 10th basil, which is that I went ahead and repotted them into the large 6-inch clay pot that will be their permanent adult home; the gardening guides caution you when doing this, because you don't want to have too much empty soil underneath where the roots stop growing (it makes it too difficult to water the plants, in that all your water eventually settles underneath the root level), so we'll see how it goes. By the way, if you've been wondering what it's like to do messy gardening work inside in the middle of an apartment, I took some photos this time showing exactly how the process works.

And finally -- wow, look how nice all those plants look when I bunch them up in my bedroom window! I've been doing my work stuff this week from in here, instead of dragging my computer out into my main living space each day like I often do, so I thought it'd be nice to arrange all my decorative plants right by my work space to make my view a little nicer. Combined with the dark loft frame, this gives the room this incredibly lush, dark green feel, which is exactly what I was hoping to achieve when starting this gardening experiment in the first place. I'm really in love with how that tall palm tree looks in almost every place in the apartment I've tried, so I'm thinking pretty seriously now about trying to pick up another two or three really large pieces like that as the summer continues, to aid in this sort of lush walk-in feel that I'm trying to go for this year. I think my first-ever trip to an actual gardening center is in order soon!

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