Confessional of a Non-Gardener

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This afternoon, I headed outside wearing a green jacket, a green hairband, one green sock, and a green mindset. The only thing I didn’t bring was a green thumb. Which I don’t have.

Last week, I bought some seed starting soil and a few herb seed packets in preparation for my 2nd annual herb garden. Last year’s garden consisted of (drum-roll, please) one tiny pot of Rosemary that never amounted to more than a sprout and a pot of Sweet Basil that miraculously yielded some edible leaves. This year, I have higher hopes. I’ve done my research, learned some lessons from last year, and set my cap for a more successful year of herb planting.

To get in the gardening mood, I donned the Sunhat I inherited from my mom. Apparently, I can’t pull it off like she did. The dog thought I was a stranger and growled at me. But, I digress…

I had five packages of seeds – Sweet Basil and Rosemary leftover from last year, and Oregano, Flat-Leafed Parsley, and Thyme (the newbies). After scrounging around the garage and storage shed, I produced the materials I needed. Namely, one bag of heavy potting soil, one bag of light seed starter mix, and a conglomeration of pots to plant my little babies in.

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Basil came first. She and I are good friends. I tucked the little seeds into the same pot they occupied last year, covering them up with a blanket of light soil before giving them a good drink of water. Sleep well, little friends, and grow fast!

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Next came Rosemary. I have heard this herb is particularly difficult to grow from seed.

No-duh.

Last year’s Rosemary plant pushed its way bravely through the hardy potting soil (I didn’t realize I was supposed to use seed starter…), grew about 1/2 inch, and stopped. I held on hope that it would grow some more, but after a month with no change, I figured it was probably dead.

I was right.

So, Rosemary, here’s hoping you can buckle down and really come through for me this year.

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Next came the Flat-Leaf Parsley. I read in a book I bought a couple of weeks ago that Parlsey takes a long time to germinate. The book (and the back of the seed packet) recommended soaking the seeds overnight to speed the germination process. I sprinkled my pre-soaked seeds into their little peat cup filled with tender soil and covered them over, too. I’m hoping they’ll be able to grace some summer salad for family reunions that always seem to come around in September.

 

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Thyme and Oregano went into their pots in much the same way that their other herb companions did. I was surprised by how tiny the seeds were! Such microscopic little seeds!

I was feeling quite proud of myself, with all my little plant-babies all tucked away and ready to grow. Unfortunately, I ran into a couple of bumps in the road… Parsley mysteriously fell over, spilling the top layer of soil in large, compact clumps onto the ground. I gently scooped it back into the peat pot, hoping that the seeds hadn’t been disturbed. And since misery loves company, Thyme decided to follow Parsley’s example after the dog got a little too excited around my gardening station. Again, I scooped the soil and seeds back into the peat pot. Lord willing, they’ll still grow!

 

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The 2nd Annual Herb Garden: Day 1 (Basil not pictured)

As you may have already deduced, when it comes to gardening, I’m like Darla from Finding Nemo. Darla loves fish, but she just…doesn’t know when she’s loving them a little too hard. She doesn’t really know how to handle the fish, as you well know if you’ve ever seen the movie. I feel like my plants may be conspiring against me, just like Nemo’s tank mates do against the dentist’s niece. Hopefully, these little seeds can put up with me as I learn how to care for them properly.

Bless their little plant hearts.

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