Herb Appeal

The Challenge

 To plant already started herbs and to plant herb seeds… and keep them alive.

My Inspiration

 I have always dreamed of having a huge and bountiful vegetable and herb garden. However, I know next to nothing about gardening and I have never had time to invest in learning and executing. So, in lieu of planting a garden (which would be more than a week’s worth of work) I decided to keep it simple and grow some herbs in some pots. I figured if I could keep herbs alive all summer, I can think about moving onto making a small raised bed and planting some vegetables next summer.

What I NeedWhatineed.jpg

Not Pictured: Water, Sunlight, My 2.5 year old helper boy

I decided to try planting herbs from seeds (Dill, Oregano and Chives) as well as planting herbs from already started peat pots. Peat pots are basically biodegradable pots for gardening dummies. All you have to do is take the plastic off, tear off the bottom and plant it in some soil and add water. I would definitely fall in the dummy category.

Who is Helping Me

 My toddler son helped hold the hose and scoop dirt. He also helped by not getting into too much mischief outside while I worked on this.

Who is NOT Helping Me

 The dead bird I found by the hose hideaway box. It was very difficult explaining to a 2.5 year old why mommy screamed and then ran away with a flaccid bird on a shovel. “He had to go home” was the only explanation I could give him.

Podcast I Listened To

 I didn’t listen to a podcast while I did the actual planting, but I did listen to one on the way to the store. This week’s podcast is “The Daily” from the New York Times. If you’re a podcast person, you’ve no doubt seen this podcast at the top of the most popular list. It’s an approximately 20 minute daily podcast that covers two of the major news stories of the day. In this current political climate, The Daily has had no shortage of super awesome, in-depth reporting on critical issues. I have learned a ton listening to this podcast and look forward to turning it on everyday. Because it’s only 20 minutes, I put it on while I’m doing short tasks like washing dishes or folding laundry.  I’m also as enamored with the host (Michael Barbaro) as the person who wrote this Buzzfeed article.

How I Did It

  1. I drove to Walmart listening to The Daily
  2. I wandered around aimlessly in the garden section until I stumbled upon the peat pots. I immediately fell in love with the idea of already being done with my project by buying plants that are already grown (easiest week ever!). I picked cilantro, parsley, mint, basil and rosemary because I cook with these herbs all the time and think they are delicious.
  3. I went searching for some pots to plant the peat pots in and felt very convicted that a *real* gardener would plant herbs from seeds. So, I found the seed section and picked out 3 more herbs – oregano, chives, dill.
  4. I read the back of the herb seed packages and felt confused by the directions. How do I plant the seeds 12 inches apart in a pot that’s only 10 inches wide? How do I measure 1/4 inch depth of soil? It says “Sow in Full Sun” but does that mean make sure you sow it on a sunny day or sow them in a place that gets full sun? Can the peat pots share a pot or do they need to have their own pots?
  5. I found a Walmart employee and asked her all my questions. She definitely laughed at me and acted like I should know better. She did tell me that I should sow my seeds in smaller pots because they don’t need depth, but otherwise she was not very helpful.
  6. After buying my goods, I came home and eventually planted the peat pots. Despite my lack of knowledge, I did surmise that I should plant the full sun herbs together and the part-sun herbs together. I also planted my seeds in their own individual small pots. Now here’s where I really realized my ignorance..  First, I was shocked to learn there are a ton of seeds in the seed packages. Second, the picture they put on the back of the package is not helpful:label.jpgDoesn’t this look like you make individual holes for the tiny seed and drop it in? How is that even possible?! So what did I do? I dumped all the seeds in the pot and  covered it with a thin layer of dirt. This is most likely NOT the way to do it, but only time will tell.
  7. After watering all of my plants/plantlings, I scoped out the sun exposure on my deck and put the pots where they needed to be.
  8. Now I wait.
    FullSun.jpg
    Full Sun Exposure

    Partsun.jpg
    Part sun Exposure

Final Thoughts/Would I Do It Again

Only time will tell. My confidence is pretty low that my seeds will grow. I am semi-confident that I can keep the already grown herbs alive. As you can see, I started small. I’m not expecting/wanting a huge harvest of herbs. I just want to see if I can keep them alive and use them randomly when I’m cooking for guests and want to boast that my recipe has “home grown herbs”. Because if you’re not bragging about your herbs, what are they really for? I’ll certainly post an update here as soon as I get any signs of growth!

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