For gardening enthusiasts, Spring 2016 hasn't been easy. With the ever-changing weather, we had to wait a long time before we could plant anything. For those that took the chance to create their urban gardens before the mercury fell, I truly hope that your little seedlings survived! On my side, it has now been more than two weeks that I've planted my vegetable sprouts, herbs and flowers. On a sunny Sunday, I went over to my parents' place to get everything done and also test my Scotts Miracle-Gro products. In order to know more about my summer collaboration with them, you can discover the first article in the series HERE.
In order to carry out my projects, I found everything I needed at Home Depot. Here's my shopping list –
– Miracle-Gro Garden Soil
– Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Potting mix
– The Flower Magic mix of flower seeds by Miracle-Gro
– The all-purpose fertilizer Miracle-Gro Shake 'N Feed.
– All sorts of plant and flowerpots: I chose some that could be installed on balcony railings, so I could bring them back to my apartment. As for the tomatoes, I selected a big planter so that they would have enough room to grow. I also picked up some small pastel metal pots for my herbs (now that I think about it, it probably wasn't the best idea since they may rust in the long run. If this happens, I'll replace them and replant them! P.S. Since the pictures, I've added saucers ;))
– Herbs, vegetable plants and seedlings!
Once you've purchased everything, it's not very complicated. All you have to do is ensure that there are holes under your pots and planters, so water can drain itself out (if there aren't any, make some!). Then, you fill the pots with soil, you dig a small hole for your plants and then you cover with more soil. Rinse and repeat for each of your plants!
On the veggie side, I chose tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli, and bell peppers. As for herbs, I went with the my "essentials" : basil, thyme, chives, cilantro, parsley, mint as well as lavender, just for fun! My mother had some Sage that survived winter in her flowerbeds, so I decided to take some and replant it. Here's a tip that I discovered a little too late: you shouldn't plant mint in the same planter as any other herbs, as it's a perennial that spreads easily. It's better to plant it by itself (I ended up re-planting it!)
Why is there such a thing as "Potting Mix" and "Garden Soil" you may ask? Potting mixes are especially formulated to retain the perfect amount of moisture when growing plants in a pot (meaning they drain the extra water out so that your plants don't rot). Garden soil on the other hand is formulated to retain more moisture. So, if we were to put Potting mix in our garden, it would dry out the land as it wouldn't retain enough water while the reverse is true when using Garden mix for your pots. If you'd like to use fertilizer like Scotts Miracle-Gro in your garden, pay extra attention to the label and the quantities to be used, as it's easy to under or over evaluate how much to use.
With my father, we decided to take care of the flowerbed in the backyard. We de-weeded it, turned the soil, added some soil and finally planted the Flower Magic seeds by Scotts Miracle-Gro. It has various types of flower seeds and fertilizer. Two weeks after planting them, we can already see them sprouting! I can't wait to see what will grow. I also used the Flower Magic in one of the pots for my balcony, to add a little color. On the veggie side, I now have baby tomatoes and my herbs are in tip-top shape… To be continued!
Here's the final result – I am moving on July 1st, so I left everything in their care so I wouldn't have to move the plants twice. Once all set up, I'll bring them home. I realized that gardening is a relaxing activity and very pleasant to do on weekends. I really took the time to unwind for a few hours, especially since you can't really keep an eye on what is going on in the world via your cellphone as you're elbow-deep in soil! In short, I loved the experience! It was an even more satisfying experience with my end of the day snack: watermelon! The perfect reward – my favorite summer fruit!
Here's what I looked like after my afternoon spent gardening. Yep, that's soil on my face. Also, please don't do what I did – take the time to put on some sunscreen before spending the day in the sun, gardening!
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