apartment gardening: day ten

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It’s been about 10 days since the planting extravaganza on the living room floor. I’ve lost the rosemary plant. It developed some sort of mold and died after a few days. I’ve also lost the dill, but it was already dying in the AeroGarden so I didn’t expect the dirt would save it.

One tomato plant is doing extremely well. The plant it shares space with is also doing fine. The other two plants, I don’t think will make it. One seems to be recovering, but the other is just withering away. All of the bell pepper and jalapeno plants are doing quite well. The jalapenos are flowering. All of those plants have been getting washed with an organic insecticide (more about that momentarily).

The succulents are doing well as I expected they would be. They are quite happy and at home in the ecosystem that is my living room.

I’m happiest about the two basil plants. I wasn’t sure that they were going to make it after being transplanted from the Aerogarden. They still don’t look completely healthy, but I’ve been moving the Genovese plant into more direct sunlight earlier in the day when I’m home. Now, both are sprouting new leaves, which I figure is a good sign.

The flowers that I planted as seeds sprouted up a few days ago and were so strong that they pushed dirt out of the little pot they were in. That’s probably the first thing I’ve grown from a seed since I was a kid, so that’s pretty awesome. And…it inspired me to buy some cilantro seeds, which are the new herb pots in the pictures above.

I’m happy that most of the plants are doing okay. I have developed a bug problem, though. So, Terro has been placed strategically for the ants, fly paper for the flies and Natria insecticidal soap for the peppers because they’ve been eaten by I don’t know what.

I’m trying to figure out when things need to be watered instead of just watering all the time and drowning plants. So, we shall see….


apartment gardening

Every year when summer rolls around, I miss having a yard and a garden and a barbecue, etc, etc, etc. A few years ago my parents gave me an AeroGarden for my birthday as a way to help with this problem. (Well, with that problem and the problem that I really can’t grow plants to begin with.)

The AeroGarden has been going strong for a while, so I decided to buy some “real” plants about a month ago. They were doing quite well, sharing light with the AeroGarden plants and living in their original seedling containers.

It seemed, though, a good second-day-of-summer-vacation activity to get all of these put into proper pots and in a place where they could absorb some natural summer sunlight.

With the help of painter’s drop cloth, I did the planting right on the living room floor.acation activity to replant them and get this apartment garden really going:


The current garden has four jalapeno plants, four bell pepper plants, four tomato plants, one rosemary plant, two basil plants, a succulent and some flowers that I’m attempting to grow from seeds.
The big experiment in all of this is basil. I have one Genovese Basil plant and one Thai Basil plant that were transplanted today from the AeroGarden. I’ve read varying reports on whether you can do this successfully. I’m hoping yes, but only time will tell.
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I’m hoping that all of this works out well and that expansion is in the near future!

Catching Up

After my super helpful-ness of a few weeks ago, I returned to my brother and sister-in-law’s home on Saturday to help them try to complete sodding their yard. I had a complete blast even though I was sore for two days afterward. I didn’t realize how much I was twisting getting the sod into place with my sister, but it was quite a workout.

If I were to be totally honest, I would have to admit that I truly love playing in dirt, and it’s a good thing because it was everywhere. At some point, we just took off our shoes and were on our knees in the dirt, moving it, smoothing it, putting everything into place.  So, I have this theory about dirt. Not to get all philosophical about dirt—well, yes I am. You have to think about it. If dirt contains all these vital elements that, presumably we come from, it’s a good way to get in tune with the universe (and God) in a lot of ways. It’s a pretty simple way to do it, and probably why I want a garden.

At any rate….that was Saturday….

Fertilizer galore!

Fertilizer galore!

Sod galore!

Sod galore!

About 1/3 of the way done. It was mostly the girls working.

About 1/3 of the way done. It was mostly the girls working.

The best part. Grass!

The best part. Grass!

So after nine hours of work on that Saturday, I woke up early the next day so Tanaya and I could head down to Long Beach for our second bridal show. (Clearly, I don’t plan things well and was about to keel over standing up all day.) But it turned out well and were able to get our information out to several hundred people.

Us in the middle of our display.

Us in the middle of our display.

And for the last part, I started a new job. After about 3 months of job searching, I think a job may have found me. I’m excited for two very big reasons. The first is that as much as I loved my last teaching job, I really wanted to teach English. So, now I’m teaching English. Not only teaching English, but American Literature, which is my absolute favorite in the California Content Standards for high school English.  In addition, I will also have 2 sections of World Religions and Social Justice, which as I said in my interview I’m uniquely qualified to teach not because I’ve studied it, but because I’ve attempted to live it.

I used to say that working in the inner-city is comparable to an abusive relationship. It hurts like heck, but you can’t help but returning. So, as I embark on my third journey into such an environment, I am nothing but excited. I had a bit of conflict of, I suppose you could call it, conscience during the summer. And things didn’t work out as they shouldn’t have. I am very glad that I have stayed true to my desire to make a difference in the very small way that I can and have come to peace with this next chapter in my life in a way that I couldn’t have imagined would be possible.

Oh, the other thing, is that I’m teaching all-girls. It should be interesting, and I’m sure somewhat amusing. I know lots of people are already laughing at me, but the girls I have already met during the teacher prep week are absolutely delightful. I’m thrilled to be spending the next year of their lives with them.