Saturday, July 12, 2008

Growing, growing...

Well, the "garden" continues to grow and grow! Earlier in the summer, I planted 11 different varieties of vegetables, herbs, and flowers from seed. Only three of them didn't make it past the seedling stage, which I consider a very good ratio for my first time growing vegetables and herbs! Joining those plants out on our little balcony are some houseplants (who are very happy to be outdoors!) and a few more plants from my roommate's mom, who works at a garden shop. Our pot total is at 24 healthy, green (and pink and purple and yellow), growing things. I had no idea that growing things would bring me so much joy! When I saw the first tiny green tomatoes, I literally jumped up and down in excitement and screamed for my roommate to come look! The biggest one, pictured above, is about the size of a marble right now, but still growing.

I also discovered, thanks to my morning glory, that I have a strong attraction to vining/climbing plants. It's so cool that it just wraps itself around and around, stretching its tendrils out to anything it can get its little green fingers on! My mother for some reason decided to knock my excitement down a few notches by telling me that the reason the morning glory grew so large so quickly is that it's really a weed. Well, weed or not, I think it's cool! I'm still waiting for it to flower, though...

As for the vegetables in my little balcony garden, we still haven't actually tasted any of the fruits of my labor! The tomatoes are the closest, since I can actually see the fruit. I'm still waiting for the green peppers, eggplant, and celery to come to maturity. But my herbs have been doing remarkably well! My favorite is the basil, of which I have two varieties: sweet basil and summer-long basil. The sweet basil looks more like what you would buy in the produce section at the grocery store, with broad dark-green leaves. The summer-long basil has many more leaves per plant, but they're smaller, narrow, and more pointy than the sweet basil. I've used both in my cooking so far, but haven't decided if I prefer the flavor of one over the other.

I still have to do a little research for my gardening... My success thus far has been due to luck and not skill or knowledge! I've heard something about needing to tie celery, I still can't see any sign of fruiting or flowering on the eggplant, and I'm really hoping to be able to dry or preserve my herbs! Thank goodness for the World Wide Web! I'll let you know what I know when I know it! And if anyone has any tips or suggestions for me, I'd love to hear them! Happy gardening.

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