14 March 2008

My Lush, Expansive Garden

Actually the chives are pretty lush. I bought them last summer from a grocery store, and they've been doing very well, especially since I haven't been eating them quite so much in the past few months.

The other pot is garlic - also from a grocery store. They sprouted in the fridge so I thought I'd plant them to see what happens. Possibly I should've separated the cloves into separate pots first. However, I didn't want to break any delicate new roots, and also I have a bizarre plant phobia.

Right now they're out my front door, where I can easily bring them inside if it dips too near freezing at night. Later when it warms up enough they'll be on the back patio with all the bugs and dirt-digging critters (I'll have to watch for randomly sprouting oak trees).


Michelle K said...

Oooh! Green things!

I'm going to start digging out my garden this weekend. Most of it is covered with dead leaves (free mulch!) so it's time to start uncovering and see what survived!

Good luck with the garlic. I've never had any luck with garlic, mostly because you're supposed to plant it in the fall, and I never remember.

And the chives should be fine outside at this point. Considering that your winters are warmer than ours, you could even get away with protecting their pot and leaving them outside all winter (protecting the pot is the hard part though, since you have to keep the roots from freezing.)

And really, you should try adding some parsley! There's nothing like fresh parsley, since it goes in almost everything!

And I'm very curious about your plant phobia. If it's what I'm guessing, a pair of thin leather gloves may help. I've got two lovely pairs of goatskin gloves, one of which I use for home repair and remodeling they're so good. Check the pricey end of the women's gardening glove section. They're not cheap, but they'll last. (Michael often wears my gloves, first because he has small hands and they fit, and second because men's gloves tend towards sturdy, which doesn't help so much when you want to be able to feel things through the finger tips.)

Janiece Murphy said...

My tulips are coming up, which I'm unhappy about. I'm sure we're going to be blasted with snow again before real spring, and I don't want them to get frost-bit.

But your chives look fabu!

Tania said...

Nice! Rosemary, catnip, and basil also grow pretty well in pots. I'm hoping to get some raised beds in place, this year, and then get some stuff planted.

I want to hear how your garlic turns out, I've never had much luck but I'm no doubt doing something not quite right.

brenda013 said...

I planted my garlic when it began to sprout and it has been in the ground one and a half years and likes it! Freezing doesn't bother it. I suppose I'll have to think about eating some of it at some point.
Tulips don't mind freeze either, even if they are blossoming. However, deer will munch them up like candy. Hope you don't have resident deer.

Jeri said...

I like your little baby garden!

I love gardening & green things, although I burn out on weeding by early August.

I don't have a gardening phobia, although I do have the old, cold remains of a worm phobia. (Used to be much worse, now just... a little annoying). Gardening gloves help with that a lot.

My daffodils are budding (they're in bloom downtown where they get more sun) and my evergreen clematis is blooming. It's munching my front porch - I'll post a picture in a week or so.

Michelle K said...

Oooh! Unless you live somewhere really cold, don't plant mint of any kind in the ground, unless you want it to take over everything. We've planted some in our yard, and I'm hoping it takes over the grass.

Nathan said...

The chives would take a flamethrower to kill. You shouldn't need any luck with them.

Garlic wants sandy soil IIRC, or the bulbs get all mushy.

MWT said...

I'm generally happy with garlic if it forms a new bulb before it dies, which I can then eat as if it were the original clove before it sprouted. This is the first time I've used a really big pot with proper drainage, however, so I'm hoping it will do something more interesting than die after putting up four leaves (per clove). ;)

The next thing I'll likely try is basil - those can do okay indoors during winter, I hope? I'm not really much of a parsley fan. What I really wish I could do is tomatoes, but that's probably not likely to end well with containers (...though if anyone has some good detailed pointers on growing container tomatoes successfully, I'm all ears :) ).

The phobia is for young, fast-growing plants - especially if they have thick stems. Sprouting potatoes give me the heebie jeebies - I don't like getting anywhere near them, never mind touch them. Most other plants I can will my way to rationality (at least long enough to do whatever requires touching them). Heh. You should watch me attempt to peel off root sprouts from carrots by holding them with tongs...

brenda013 said...

I tried a tomato in a container last year. Cherry tomatoes are very prolific and tough. You need quite a big pot (like a 40 cm diameter, umm that would be about 16 inches); nice rich potting soil; sunny spot, but with some shade (sunlight can be pretty savage on tender leaves). Digging critters (such as cats looking for a place to pee or a dog snuffling around) can be deterred with gravel over top of the soil. Makes the potted plant look elegant, too! Or straw mulch; not so elegant. Then voila! Tomatoes.

Michelle K said...

Tomatoes are fairly easy to grow in containers--just make sure they have plenty of root space, and plenty of water, and when you water them, try not to get the leaves wet. Depending upon the pot type and the outside temperatures, you may need to water them twice a day.

Additionally, if you check out Gardner's Catalog or places like that, they have upside down tomato bags, that allow you to hang your tomato plants.

Oh, and I dislike tomato *plants* because the leaves and stems smell unpleasant to me.

They're very strange looking, and not necessarily attractive, but they are *supposed* to make growing tomatoes very easy.

Basil is relatively easy, but oregano is easier. You'll have to continually pinch back the basil as it will want to flower and get leggy. Also, I don' think it will last more than one growing season, though perhaps it depends upon the cultivar.

Oregano takes longer to flower, and comes back year after year, and doesn't get quite as leggy as basil. I grow both, but I prefer to grow oregano. Especially since I don't have to buy new plants every year!

Mint does very well in containers if you want to branch out. Rosemary is all but made for container gardening, but I can't overwinter it, because I don't have much in the way of south facing windows, so they die from lack of light.

If your temperatures are staying in the 40s at night, then it's probably safe to move them outside. Each plant has different hardiness, so it's always good to check, but herbs tend to be at the lower end of the hardiness, and can easily deal with cooler temperatures.

And I think a good pair of leather gardening gloves might help your phobia, because you're not actually *touching* the plant. (So says the woman with OCD.)