Monday, April 27, 2009

A Sprout!

My plants have (mostly) been moved outside. I've added six (now five due to my stupidity) lettuce plants to the bounty on my porch. I've been watering twice daily since I woke up on Saturday morning and found my cucumber and two bean plants wilty. Water brought them back, so I've been trying to keep up, especially with the horrendously hot weather we've been having.

In doing my evening checks (I also seem to be getting up earlier and earlier so I can get the watering in before I go off to work and after I feed the fish and the buns), I discovered something that had me racing for the camera.

It's cilantro sprouts! There are several of them, which might mean I have to find some more containers eventually, but I am ecstatic! Not only do the bunnies adore it, but I do too so the more the merrier, in my opinion. I have this vision of looking up at my condo from the ground and seeing cilantro plants in every window. It'll be cheaper than buying it at the store for .99 a bunch at least (and it won't travel all the way from wherever!)

The cilantro I planted outside isn't sprouting yet, which worries me a bit since they were planted at the same time. I'll give them a few more days though. My carrots and onions are also not sprouting. Packet says 10-21 days for them (10-14 and 14-21), so I'm still hopeful. The tomato plant continues to get blossoms, though the rosemary isn't doing as well as I would like, nor is the sage. The oregano is off like gangbusters as is the parsley.

In other garden-related news, I've started a worm bin and the red wigglers (Eisenia Foetida) are enroute. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

New Beginnings

It's rather appropriate, considering the name of this blog (Carrot Wishes and Cilantro Dreams), that my first blog will be about my first garden. Oh, I've had gardens in the past, but they were at my parents' house, bought with my parents' money and used my parents' resources. But now I'm living in my own little condo and have decided to start container gardening on my teeny tiny porch. There were several reasons for my decision (other than it being spring, of course, though that certainly helps). The first is to offset my carbon footprint. While my teeny tiny plants won't do a huge amount, every little bit helps, and hopefully my teeny tiny plants will grow into bigger plants - that is the point of it, after all.

Secondly, the expense of buying fresh herbs for a recipe is astronomical. At my local grocery store, I can get herbs imported from Israel (I think?). Israel. For herbs. Yes, I love herbs, and my sage and prosciutto chicken isn't the same without the sage. Yes, I love my basil in my Basil Shrimp with Goat Cheese Orzo. However, importing it from halfway around the world seems a bit off to me. A package of the herb of your choice is something like $4 and of course, I put the rest back into the fridge, where it sits until I either remember it in time to use it again or I start to notice a smell that's a bit off. The amount of waste going into that little package of herb makes me cringe.

Thirdly, well, truthfully, I need a hobby that gets me away from the computer all summer! There's only so many hours I can sit and stare and check my favorite blogs.

So I chose instead to plant a garden which has set me back almost $100 with plants, seeds, containers and soil, but hopefully it will be a good investment (and is already fun!). I've had good luck with herbs at my parents' house a few years ago (almost a decade, I think), so I hope that good luck has followed me here.

In my first foray into organic container gardening, I've planted basil, oregano, cilantro, sage, rosemary, cucumber, beans, carrots, garlic, onions, and cherry tomatoes. I'm feeling ambitious, though I didn't have space to plant the lettuce seeds I bought. I'll need to get some more containers (I'll be repurposing some things instead of buying the expensive ones from the home store) to thin out the beans, carrots, and onions when the time comes.

Honestly, I'm a bit nervous about the plants I'm starting from seed (carrots, onions, cilantro), and the garlic probably won't be as prolific as it would be if I were planting it in the fall (which is when you're supposed to), but I've got my fingers crossed. After all, if I can get the stuff to sprout in the crisper, why shouldn't it also do well in soil!

The plants will face a Southernly exposure which I hope will be good enough, especially as some won't get prime spots on my 4x6 porch.

Wish me (or rather the plants) luck!