Gardening Trials & Tribulations

Blogger is being fussy about loading my pictures, so you just get to deal with some Albany Jane griping and bitching.

Oh, gardening is not going so well in Albany Janeland.

So Albany John got this black stuff. It’s like a fabric sheet that you put over your plants, and cut holes in for the seedlings. I think we were supposed to cover it with more dirt, which we didn’t do, so most of my hard-grown seedlings died a thirsty and shrivel-y death. Three tomato plants lived. We got some more from our gardening neighbor. She didn’t have any more room for her tomato seedlings. Yay for generous gardening neighbors!!
The remaining seedlings aren’t doing so well though…

My first semester in college I had this bio class that had a plant-growing requirement. Seriously, it was part of the class. Something about life cycles. And photosynthesis. You know. Any way, you had to grow the thing from seed, and then create a whole report on it. Hypothesis, observations, etc. Measurements. You know. And then a mass spec on the stuff at the end. Any way, anyone who’d ever taken the class before (which was everyone on campus) was like “Oh, that is such an annoying study you have to do. It’s way more work if your plant actually lives, so just leave it in the dark and kill it and then just do hypothetical research.”
I figured “No problem, that plant doesn’t stand a chance around me any way.” but the seed I had grew like crazy and it was the only plant I’ve had that didn’t meet some depressing fate, at least for the first semester. I have no idea what happened to it after that, although I wish I could tell you it’s still living in a window of my apartment. I probably threw it out because it wouldn’t die or flower. Any way, yeah… so I’m not very good at growing things.

Out of the 20 or so seeds of romanesca zucchini squash that I planted, a whopping two grew. So Albany John picked up a 4 pack of already grown zucchini seedlings and we planted those in between the growing ones in the zucchini row. I have no idea if my parsnips are growing, but some carrots are popping up. But holy cow, are my weeds doing really well. I’m gonna have one heck of a bumper crop of weeds, that’s for sure. I should have intentionally planted them, ’cause there is no way they’d have grown as much already 😉

Also, I may not have watered them as often as I should have.

I think next year I’m just going to buy all of my seedlings. Or buy a house that has a backyard or more windows I can keep cat bellies out of. Yeah, it was the cat bellies… that’s what it was. Nah, but really I think that the trickiness rumors around heirloom plants is correct, so maybe if you’re a novice gardener like myself, maybe just buy your seedlings. Or at least realize that you might have to supplement half of your garden with purchased seedlings after the seeds turn out to not… grow.

The black thumb of death still rules my garden!

Garden fairies, keep your fingers crossed and send some good vibes my way. Goodness knows my plants need it.

  1. Olivia said:

    I invested in 48″ fluorescent lights from Lowes and plant bulbs (from Walmart, not Lowes) for my seedlings. I happen to have wire shelving and was able to suspend the lights with ease under the shelves. Then you can start your seeds in mid-April.

    It really helps with establishing plants. Then put them outside in the shade for a week then transplant them to the garden.

    Albany also gives away free compost at their composting facility as well. You might want to grab some buckets and truck some of that in to put around your seedlings.

    Not sure what else to tell you aside from that herbs grow pretty fast from seed, so try those. 😀

  2. Third Aunite said:

    No black thumb, you are just learning. If you can't get to the garden often enough to water the plants, you should get a bale of straw. Then after you cut holes for the plants and place the black cloth (it is a weed blocking cloth, put a good layer of straw on the cloth. This will help retain some of the moisture longer. If you plant some seeds in the soil and want to keep the moisture in longer, you should lay some white garden fabric over the seeds and water them in.

    Ne frette pas! You will get be a master gardener in no time.

  3. I gave up on my flower seeds and went and bought some grown ones to plant. Then, I woke up this morning to discover that the squirrels had ripped them right out of the planters. Grrr.

  4. Total sympathies! It seems like all of our friends on Austin have these crazy-awesome gardens with bumper crops of whatever they're trying to grow, but I'm terrified to try. (And with all this travel, it probably wouldn't work anyway.) I have faith you'll figure it all out!

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