As much as I love pretty much everything plant-related, there has been one big, no huge area that has managed to escape my comprehension and capability: growing plants. Yep, when it comes to gardening, I suck. I can weed, plough, rake, harvest, but grow? No, no!
Dubbdd the black thumb it’s been a frustrating experience, every attempt resulting in (mostly) sooner than later death; even with so-called idiot-proof herbs.
What’s even more annoying is that my parents have the most beautiful, bountiful garden where everything just magically seems to thrive. Orchids on the edge of suicide under my care revive in my mom’s hands producing one mocking flower after the other. Rare wildflowers become self-seeded regulars and veggies turn into weeds.
Green thumb genes obviously skipped a generation. But apparently there is hope: Liza from Good to Grow (wonderful blog!) seems confident that it is only about the right care.
I remain suspicious as to supernatural powers playing a role, but that gives me something tangible to work with. Sure for most plants there has to be a recipe, an instruction on how to grow it best under certain conditions.
Craving success and being limited to what I can grow on my balcony garden surely herbs (idiot-proof, remember?) are an easy beginners’ choice.
So I start my homework. First up: know your growing conditions. Here are my essentials:
- Exposure to sunlight
For a balcony garden, soil is provided by high quality potting mix (five red ticks!), so knowing how much sun your precious few square meters are getting is essential.
For mine it’s afternoon sun, 4 hours maximum during daylight savings.
- To water or not to water, that’s the question here.
Even the most robust cactus will need the occasional drop, but knowing whether the plants you’re growing like wet feet or good drainage seems important.
Frost is not a problem in Sydney, so I’d consider it less important.
Ok. Now to the plants I want to grow. As much as I’d love to have glowing tomatoes and shiny chillies, I think my westernly aspect balcony won’t be the right setting.
Set on herbs, I am trialling basil, thyme and peppermint. From the seed packet alone it seems it should be a fairly easy task. Marketing trick I suppose.
But growing herbs might not that easy after all as this excellent blog post featuring tips and tricks by Renee Wierzbicki points out.
So I shall wait and look after my pots and see.
To my great delight, I see already:
Watch this space for further news.
And if everything fails, my heart is set on growing a completely different type of plant: a Wollemi Pine – sounds easy enough, doesn’t it?