a left-eyed girl

living in a 2 dimensional world

The backyard gardener

with 3 comments

When it comes to plants, I would not call myself a gardener. I’m that person who grows plants from seeds, gets to enjoy their company for a very fleeting moment, and then ends up re-tilling the soil mid-season because all that was once green is now brown. I don’t know why I always think that they die unexpectedly, especially when I don’t water or fertilise them for a few days during the hottest point in the summer.

Last year, I managed to grow a ridiculous amount of basil in the backyard, some of which went into hand-chopped pesto (I sharpened my favourite knife specifically for that task). The rest of it went into assorted sauces, but I failed to harvest a huge amount due to lack of diligence. This year, if I decide to grow basil, I will definitely harvest more of it and freeze it so I can have fresh basil any time during the off-season. Last season, I also managed to grow a lot of lettuce, which turned out to be very bitter because I let it grow much too large; good thing Frank really likes bitter greens, so he’s been absolutely loving it!

This year, I’m growing minty plants (again). Last season I bought some peppermint and spearmint plants and put them in the backyard right in the middle of my wildflower bed. Of course, none of the wildflowers grew, but I did manage to grow a huge amount of dandelions and assorted grass weeds. The best thing is that the minty plants seems to thrive in that part of the garden, and, with regular watering and weeding, are slowly taking over the small plot of dirt. I purposely put them in a small plot so that they couldn’t take over the entire garden.

With this very, very small victory, I have decided to expand my plant repertoire, but I can’t decide what to grow this year. I don’t want to do tomatoes since I think that tomatoes are difficult to grow. Maybe some kale or carrots? Hmm… I need to check out the garden shop to see what they’ve got that won’t die within the first two weeks of coming home with me.

The way I see it, I can keep a plant alive if I’ve managed to keep my cat alive for 5+ years. Then again, she does try to upturn lots of my planties if they are blocking her favourite windowsills…

Note to self: I planted chives in a plastic pot this morning. We’ll see if they grow or not.

Written by Reese

April 7, 2009 at 10:01 am

Posted in my little garden

3 Responses

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  1. Lettuce gets bitter when it goes to seed, which is something you can’t stop. At a certain temperature point it starts growing up out of the ground on its stalk and then it’s bitter time.

    If he really likes bitter grow him some arugula. Tastes peppery at first then gets bitter as it gets older.

    Oh, and if you have critter problems grow some nasturtiums and marigolds. Insects do not like them and will stay away.

    Chives are perennial so if they take, just leave them outside and next year they will sprout up again.

    Definitely do tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes are pretty easy and you don’t need as big a pot for them (though bigger than you might think.) You need to amend their soil a bit though, they need extra calcium to prevent blossom end rot.

    Looking forward to the pics…and remember Rita is staying alive biding time for her eventual triumph!

    Jeff D

    April 8, 2009 at 8:04 am

  2. @Jeff: Ha, the funny thing is that I was growing him arugula that became super super bitter! I’m really hoping the chives grow, because I think they’re cute plants to keep around too, but we’ll see how it goes. And yes, we bought a tomato plant yesterday, so hopefully it will grow up and make lots of tomatoes for me in 65 days or so. Ha… Hopefully.


    April 8, 2009 at 10:13 am

  3. yeah, when arugula goes bitter it ain’t no joke 🙂

    Chives are super easy. I literally did nothing to mine except water them and occasional hit them with MiracleGro and they sprouted every year for about five years before they gave up.

    A few tomato tips. Once the flowers start opening give the plant a little shake every day or so. That will help them pollenate if there are no bees around. I also staked mine, which helps make sure you don’t miss any ripe ones 🙂

    Jeff D

    April 8, 2009 at 10:16 am

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