Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Hopeful Gardener

Remember last year's garden effort?  Things didn't turn out exactly the way I'd hoped.  All that work and basically, nothing came of it.

I was not going to do it again this year.  I've proved over and over again that I have a black thumb.  The blackest.

Then, along came my birthday and my mom wanted to know what I wanted in the way of a gift certificate.  Mom knows me well.  If she just gave me cash I'd probably spend it on lunch or electricity or shots for the dog.  She wanted to give me something that would be a gift.  I gave it a little thought.

I'm not a clothes girl.  Or a jewelry girl.  I am a home improvement girl, but I would do that anyway.  I'm not having much time for crafty stuff just yet.  Then this little teaser in my brain said What about gardening stuff?

I tried to push that thought away.  After all, I've proved myself a dismal failure at gardening - unless, like my front bed, it's stuff you just can't kill.  But the thought kept coming back, so I went online and looked at stuff that was outside my experience in gardening.  I looked at hydroponics - which looked interesting, but was way too expensive to set up.  And I looked at other container gardening methods (did you know you can set up your own little eco-system in the garage with growlights and reflective material and watering systems?  Actually, I guess anyone who's grown their own pot would know that, but it was a new idea to me.)  But really, inside gardening sort of defeats the purpose of gardening to me - spending time outside and in the sunshine.  Then, I found it.  I called Mom and said I want a certificate to Espositos!

This is what I found.  I took my generous certificate to Espositos and mercilessly grilled a helpful young man who had a surprising amount of knowledge.  I told him my difficulties of the past and what I was hoping to accomplish with my EarthBox.  He told me about stuff for hornworms and stuff for aphids, which seem to be my most persistent pests.  He didn't have an EarthBox himself, but knew people who had great success with it and thought it might be a good choice for me.  Sold.  The sign on the display says anyone can grow things in an EarthBox... no matter what color their thumb is.  We'll see.

After I picked out my box, I picked out some plants to put into it.  No tomatoes!!!  Two squash plants, a cucumber, an eggplant, and two kinds of hot peppers.

I got a 3 cubic foot bag of custom mixed peat/soil (Espositos makes their own).

The bottom is raised with holes in it - the tube is for water.  There's a reservoir and an overflow hole so you can't overfill it.  I added 2" of mix, then the included bag of dolomite sprinkled in a layer.  Added more mix, dug a trough down the middle and added the dry fertilizer bag's contents and covered it over.

Also included was a "mulch cover".  They really did make this as idiot-proof as possible!  Here's hoping my black thumb has a greenish tint by the time this growing season is over.

I couldn't figure out how to make my picture turn horizontal...  so, from the top left:

Yellow Squash                Thai Dragon Pepper

Cucumber                        Eggplant

Habanero Pepper             Yellow Squash

This may turn out to be too crowded.  I'll wait and see.  Maybe I'll need to buy another one...


Jill said...

he he he. I bet the cucumber should be transplanted. One plant can take over a 4 ft bed and trail over the sides! That would be my guess, as long as it lives.. replant it!

Jan n Jer said...

Wow thats alot in one little spot. Your right you may have to split them up into two boxes. They look heatlthy. Good never know..your black thumb just may turn green this season.

Sayre said...

Obviously, you two know a lot more about growing things than I do. Perhaps I should just go ahead and get another box and transplant some stuff before they're too entrenched. Now that I understand the concept behind the box, I wonder if I could fabricate something myself without spending that kind of money?

Hoosier Girl said...

I have confidence in you! You're an outdoorsy kind of person - you will conquer this gardening thing!


PinkPiddyPaws said...

The cucumber and both squashes will go crazy and grow everywhere. So you definitely should consider another box. I'm betting you can do it yourself. You are a total DIY gal. :)

karisma said...

haha! I am imagining your little garden growing all over the place. Eggplant is very slow growing but your cucumbers and squash will need to be in the ground for sure. Having said that, the roots are not big so maybe you can leave them there. The biggest problem with pots is you need to remember to water daily or they dry out. Good luck, I am sure you will do fine. I find planting herbs around vegies works well too. Tansy is a great insect repellent and Comfrey too.

Sandcastle Momma said...

You have inspired me! I too have spent countless hours gardening only to reap nothing. My thumb is the same color as yours but I still keep hoping. I'm going to give this a try. Good luck with yours!

Georgia Girls said...

Good luck and have fun! It's so fun to play in the dirt. We're still practicing with a garden--have been doing it for 30+ years.

grace said...

LOL! Good luck, keep us posted...I'm glad I fooled you with my baby!!