Erin- Week 2

“Though I do not believe that a plant will spring up where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed.  Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders.”

-  Henry David Thoreau

It has always amazed me that one seed is able to produce an entire plant, and I’m hoping (with some luck) that I will be able to generate similar results.

Since this is the fi rst time I have ever tried to grow anything, I decided to keep things simple.  I chose to start my gardening adventure with chives, basil, and parsley.  My logic was a) they supposedly grow well indoors and b) I think these would b e well used.  Thyme and rosemary were briefly considered, but quickly vetoed because how often does a recipe call for thyme or rosemary?

In terms of vegetables, I chose radishes because they have a short turnaround time, all my online sources say they grow well indoors, and I have a personal fondness for radishes. As a small child my grandmother would feed me radishes whenever I stayed at her house. It is only now that I realize that it probably was a bit unusual for a 5-year old to request radishes. As a side note, radishes are supposedly great for growing in a classroom environment-for any K-12 teachers out there- because they do show results so quickly.*

Next, I had to choose an appropriate medium for my seeds.  I decided to start my plants in the pot from the beginning, so as not to transfer them.  There are a lot of proponents of growing herbs in starter pots and transferring them once they have sprouted, but I decided to cut out the middleman because I was concerned about being able to transfer the herbs without damaging them. If I’m being perfectly honest, there was also a bit of laziness involved in that decision.  Time will tell if this was a wise decision.  I opted for a potting soil with sphagnum peat, compost, perlite, and plant food because it had some plant food, was lightweight and porous.**
Once I had all the necessary items, all that was left to do was plant the seeds.

I read somewhere that I should water and drain the soil before planting, so I gave that a try and then followed the directions on the seed packets for the spacing and depth at which each of my herbs/vegetables should be planted.***  My research kept leading me to information on the need for plants to have appropriate room to grow, so I was pretty cautious about spacing the seeds out.  Again, time will tell if this has a positive effect on my plants or if I was being paranoid.  I also put plastic wrap over my pots while they were seeds to help retain moisture.

Wrapped the pots up in plastic wrap to retain moisture until the seeds germinate

Planting the seeds after the water has drained through

Pre-watering the soil in the sink

And now we wait…

 

*If you want to grow something other than the plants I have chosen see-
for herbs: http://www.divinecaroline.com/22164/85422-nine-easiest-herbs-grow-indoors or http://www.savvygardener.com/Features/herbs.html
for vegetables: http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/426/426-336/426-336.html

**Read the Potting Soil section of http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/426/426-336/426-336.html for more information on factors to consider.

****Tip- your parsley may germinate faster if you soak them in warm water for an hour or so before planting.

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adventures in urban gardening