GROW: Somehow Their Grass Is Always Greener…

Now I’m starting to wonder if it’s just me or if my plants have a preference for living over at the neighbours?!?!

Maybe that’s going a little too far, after all I have had my share of successful seeds sprouting. The problem was that it didn’t get much further than that due to my absence! (And little baby plants don’t like absence any more than little baby people I’ve found!!). So when I left this time I left my little baby plants in the very capable green-tipped hands of my neighbour!

I returned to basil that looked happier than a pig in, well, it was one happy looking basil!! The tendril-ing snow-pea sprouts had taken their leave, as had the apple tree shoot that liked to play along. The planter I had arranged with the tomato, lettuce and coriander seedlings looked like it might hold in there! The tomato and the coriander had packed up and packed in, however the lettuce shoots were looking good and the neighbour had kindly thinned them out into a neat row (of three tiny things in descending order of viability)!!!

This first one was looking to me like it might make it to tasting point!! I carefully placed it out of the full searing heat of the sun, in a light and breezy spot on our balcony. I was advised to give it some water to help it settle in and the rest should be pretty straightforward!!

Straightforward for who?? I think the following day the poor thing shrivelled a little and everyday henceforth (and seemingly regardless of what I did, or didn’t do) it seemed to pull back into itself a little more! 😦

He didn’t survive. The soil didn’t dry out, the “self-watering” compartment at the bottom of this pot was empty, and still the soil wouldn’t dry out. Even after the lettuce had all but disappeared this pot was a damp, sticky, sludgy mess, and it was starting to smell!!! What ever happened to my sweet, soft, crumbly potting mix??? Is this going to be a pattern with gardening up here?? Is it just too humid??? How can I compensate for humidity without over-watering?!? Hmmmm…..

Puzzled, it’s back to the drawing board. I’m also going to take my little bucket down to the beach to collect some sand and add it to this wet mess! The house I lived in previously had a gorgeous permaculture garden that grew without hesitation, without restraint, and without much problem really. But there was quite a layer of straw on top of a well-worked thick layer of nutrient rich soil…….  hmmm, drainage, evaporation, air movement, nutrients, compost…. I’m going to rethink this potting business!

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