Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Growing Adventure

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Back in the spring, I started a handful of seedlings in a corner of our little apartment.  Under a single grow light, they sprouted up until I had more seedlings than I could possibly pot on my tiny 2- by 4-foot patio.  So, I planted a number of herbs, two tomato plants (one a yellow pear tomato and the other a red slicing tomato), two pepper plants (one bell, one hot), and about a dozen carrots, and gave the rest of my seedlings away to good homes.  My plants adapted to their new outdoor habitat, growing thicker and stronger in the breeze and taller with the moderate sun reaching my patio.  However, as the summer arrived and blasted us with scorching heat and weeks without rain, it was hard to keep the plants happy.  One of the pepper plants, the rosemary, and the chives withered and died.  Something infested my tomato plants, which got silvery scales on their leaves (let me know if you know what this is… I’m still not sure!).  The hope and enthusiasm I felt while nursing the seedlings along in early spring wilted as well, but I kept the remaining plants limping along.

In midsummer, my husband and I bought a house (hurray!).  We packed everything up, and I decided to leave the sickly tomato plants behind.  The remaining pepper plant, basil, and carrots traveled with us to our new home.  As the summer wore on, the carrots became quite stunted and the tops dried out.  The basil plant suffered in 100-plus-degree heat without water for several days while I was out of town.  However, the pepper (which turned out to be the hot pepper) plant has survived and produced several good peppers!

A little ray of hope for my gardening skills!

It is so amazing to look at these vegetables and remember the tiny seed I planted so many months ago.  The seedlings that I sent out into the world have fared a little better than my own.  My sister’s pear tomato plant is producing little yellow tomatoes, as are the plants of some friends.  I hope to make another attempt with these next year.  Now that we have our own bit of land, I'm excited to try my hand at gardening again!

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