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One of the things that I’ve dreamed about for as long as I can remember is having a big beautiful garden. What the garden looks like has changed as I have; it used to be full of flowers, trellises, climbing vines, ponds, koi, and birds. This garden still sounds lovely to me (and maybe one day, if I ever settle on a place), but now this dream garden is full of vegetables and fruits. Where I’m living now, I have no yard space but I do have a huge south-facing porch, which I fully plan on utilizing this summer; hopefully it’ll be full of tasty herbs, veggies and fruits.  Right now I have a few little seedlings started, and am quite excited because they’ve just started to burst through the soil!

This first is the thyme:

Thyme

This second is the basil, which doesn’t have as many seedlings as the thyme (yet, hopefully):

Basil

Both the thyme and the basil were planted on March 3. The thyme was supposed to take 10-15 days to sprout, so it actually came up early, and the basil was supposed to take 5-10 days to sprout, and it came up after the thyme did. I’m not sure why, and am not sure why there’s so little of the basil sprouting.  The soil I used was an organic soil that wasn’t specifically for seed sprouting: part of the problem? Since planting these I now work for Gardener’s Supply Co. so I’m learning all kinds of cool things about gardening. I’m going to buy some germinating mix and see if the seeds planted in that do any better.

The seeds are planted in plastic 1L soda bottles, which act as a little greenhouse; I was really excited the first time I saw condensation on the sides, because yey! it was working! I cut the bottles in halfish, cut drainage holes in the bottom, put in my soil and some sea kelp mix (which I’ll talk about in a minute), planted the seeds, and replaced the top half of the bottle, keeping the lid off.  I got the idea of starting my seeds this way in makeshift “greenhouses” from this instructable, which shows really nicely how to make the “greenhouses” step by step.

A few months ago, while I was still at my parents’ house, I was eating lots of avocados, because they are so much cheaper here than in Korea. And my dad took one of the pits, stuck it in a pot that already had some plants in it in the living room, and waited to see what happened. A few weeks later, it had sprouted! And then it just kept growing and getting taller and taller. So I decided to try the same thing here and planted my own avocado pit on March 2, but so far I don’t see any growth; there’s a tiny crack on the pit that wasn’t there before, so maybe I’ll see some green soon?!

Avocado: Planting day, March 2

Avocado: March 15

A few weeks ago, maybe even a month or more (my sense of time is horrible), I took and indoor gardening class from Peter Burke at City Market. In this class, we learned how to grow salad sprouts indoors, using soil instead of water so that the sprouts are healthier and more nutrient packed. I bought an extra bag of mixed seeds so that I could keep planting them, because in the class, Peter brought samples of greens that were ready for eating and they were delicious.  One of the things he added to the soil to help the plants grow was sea kelp meal, and I also bought a bag of that to use in future plantings.

Salad Sprouts

For sure I’m going to try my hand at growing strawberries and tomatoes. I’m still thinking about whether I want to also try carrots, sweet potatoes, and spinach. Some more research is needed, but I’ll definitely be updating with the progress on my small crops!

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