Saturday, March 26, 2016

Life: Gardening

I've spoken before about the unintended knowledge that we all gain by investing. It's important to expand your knowledge to all things around us to better understand the world as a whole. One of those important pieces of knowledge that I've obtained is knowing how to garden.

Prior to last year, I had no idea how to garden. My mother, my grandmother, and even her mother were fantastic at it. The green thumb was definitely there but I had not been taught by any one of them. I had moved away to a different state before any of the knowledge could be passed down to me.

This left me to dig for the knowledge myself. Sure, I could have called any one of them and tried to obtain the knowledge from square one with any one of them but that was just too easy. Sometimes you have to learn on your own and then reach out to your contacts afterwards to hone your skills.

After a quick trip to Walmart, I had everything I needed to start. I wanted to start from square one. Since square one was obviously seeds, that meant grabbing a seed starting kit rather than just buying the partially grown plants and transplanting them. I put the seed starter soil in the pods, dropped the seeds in, watered them a little, and waited. Within a few short weeks, they sprouted from each cell and became little starter plants. Everything looked like it was going according to plan.

Unfortunately, I got a little over zealous. I emphasize over zealous. I had planted about ten different types of plants into the seed starter kit but instead of trying to transplant them one by one once the specific seed reached the point that it could be transplanted successfully, I rushed it and tried to transplant them all once one of them reached that point. By doing so, I killed off most of my first crop once I transplanted them into bigger pots for the porch. Only the ones who had thankfully made it to a good transplanting point were successful - green beans, jalapeno peppers, and bell peppers. Everything else quickly wilted and died right there on the porch.

The good thing was that the jalapenos took over. The bush grew incredibly big and yielded a giant crop just off the one that I transplanted. I think I must have gotten over 100 jalapenos just off that one bush. This produced some of the best jalapeno cheddar bread that I could have hoped for. It was delicious!

That was last year though and this year could be a whole different story. This year I've dropped down from a 50 seed cell starter kit to a seven cell kit with transplantation pots. This means that I won't have to screw up any roots when I transplant them. I can put them right into larger pots and the biodegradable seed starting pots they began in will simply be absorbed. Also, I've kept the crop to only a few varieties this year so that I don't have to keep track of as many and only looked towards using the plants that I will actually eat.

This year, I've planted broccoli, basil, and banana peppers. In addition, the wife and I had strawberries and lemonade blueberries that were planted last year that should be bearing fruit this season since they take a whole year to actually bear fruit. Let's pray that everything takes off this year and I can share with you all the final pictures of what I hope to be a full balcony of fruit and veggies!

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