This spring–and, admittedly, my impending marriage–brought out my green thumb. The prospect of moving this summer to an apartment that will probably have fewer windows makes me want more green in my house.
Much to Greg and Chris’s amusement, I’m planting almost everything I get my hands on:
- a peach pit (planted before winter in the hopes of a spring sprout that hasn’t come),
- cilantro (from packaged seeds),
- basil (also from packaged seeds),
- tomatoes (packaged seeds),
- garlic cloves (unused in a risotto dinner),
- orange seeds (from a late-night snack), and
- a green onion (unused from a frittata meal)
This is all in addition to my two trusty cacti (a saguaro and a tephrocactus articulatus). Seventy-plus years until the first saguaro arm!
The pots and cans are covering our tall “bar” counter, fireplace mantle, and encroaching onto the stand where we keep movies and games.
The packaged seed plants were all messily planted on the same afternoon. The tomatoes sprouted first in less than a week:
They’re growing about a half-inch to an inch a day, and are happily arcing toward the window. I’m rotating them daily. I’m not sure yet when I’ll need to separate out the ones I want to grow super-big. I’m also not sure how to do so safely.
The cilantro took another two days, and the seeds are actually at the tip of the plants, which is awesome:
My biggest hope lies in the basil, though, which hadn’t sprouted as of this morning. Basil is so easy to maintain and we’d use it in a crap-ton of dishes when we cook. If the cilantro turns out hardy, I may give this little batch to Michael, who would probably use cilantro as much as I’d use the basil.
The garlic cloves were planted about a day after the seeded plants, and their growth has been the most miraculous to watch: they’re literally growing half an inch every 8 hours. We’re keeping a paper clip in the pot to mark the big one’s height at night before bed and checking on it in the morning.
This thing is beeyootiful. I can just stare at it all day, wondering if I’m actually seeing growth. I’m curious as to what’s going on under the soil, though, because I only planted one clove, but I know I’m going to get a whole garlic out of the deal. Are there itty-bitty clove-buds forming that will grow to match the original one I planted? If the third one I planted in the pot spouts, I’ll unearth it and examine it.
The green onion came from the store with stubby roots still attached, so planting it is more an experiment in seeing if it will take root and flower. It’s a little sad; we had to attach a pencil to get it to stand upright:
After the green onion, I was out of conventional pots that will fit on shelves, so the orange seeds went into a corn can. First tree to poke up (either the oranges or the peach) gets the huge shrub pot.
I think my saguaro is showing signs of sun deficiency, so I set up a halogen lamp for it last night (to run during the day, not 24/7). I think it’s far away enough to avoid burning, but I’ll run it for a couple of days and keep an eye out. I’m mostly looking to lighten and even up the color a bit–my tephrocactus articulatus has always done fine indoors, but the saguaro got knocked over by the cats and replanted about a year ago (shortly after its plane trip to Charlotte), so it’s a bit distressed.
I’ll admit, the foodie plants are much more immediately satisfying than the cacti. I’ve had my tephrocactus articulatus for over five years now (first trip to Arizona!), and it’s grown one healthy third prong in that time. Noticable, but not like, you know, half an inch overnight:
Updated to add pictures from the afternoon of 4/19/2011.