Monday, June 21, 2010

Apartment Gardening: Trial and Error

One thing I've learned about gardening is don't be afraid to try new things. Last year, I planted tomatoes, impatients and basil. Everything did alright except for the basil, because the pot it was too small.

This year I tried planting coleus for the first time. Unfortunately, since the last time I wrote, we got a spell of cold weather and the coleus pretty much died. Coleus apparently is very sensitive to cold weather, especially when it comes without warning. So, I decided to stick to what I know and planted impatients again. Impatients (right) like to spread out like carpet, so I chose bright colors and a couple of white ones to balance them out. They like the rain, and they need plenty of water and good soil when the weather is dry. You can find them for as low as a dollar each in some places right now. They're an annual, which means they'll die about the time the first frost hits.

With the cold and wet weather in May and June, I was worried that my tomato plants would also die. Luckily, that didn't happen and they're still growing. There are a few yellow blooms on both plants right now, so the fruits should be on their way. This season I planted Lemon Boy and red pear tomatoes (below).

As far as the bulb plants, the hosta (guacamole) is still establishing itself. It has three leafs right now. The Lily of the Valley doesn't seem to want to come up (not sure why), and the begonias are still growing. The grape hyacinth is on its way out for the season. So to give it a proper farewell, my grandma suggested I tug at the leafs and pull them out when they give. She says don't cut them because the leaves are still collecting nutrients before the bulbs go dormant until next year.

So if you're gardening for the first time or the tenth time, don't be afraid to try something new, even if it doesn't work out.

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