Sunday, February 07, 2021

Planting success

Sometimes it’s possible to make something work when it didn’t before. Like garden planters. The fact that it did matters for several reasons.

Nigel and I bought some stacking plastic planters (in the photo montage above) a few years ago to grow herbs. We put them out on our second-storey deck, nearest the kitchen so they’d be accessible. They never really produced very much or well because that deck was too windy (being up higher made it susceptible to winds off the Manukau Harbour), and it was too hot in the summer sun.

I decided to use them in my house because they’re frankly much easier to handle than garden beds, which would’ve required a lot of work to prepare (the ground here is mainly clay), and it would require me to plan them, and I’m not much of a graden designer. The planters would be easier.

Each planter has three “lobes”, and they stack. I deiced to have two stacks, five in each one; they can be arranged in lots of different ways, but I felt that would work best for me. This meant figuring out what to plant in each one, especially because in alternate rows one “lobe” would be in back, entirely out of the sun. Also, some were too much out of the sun to do well.

So, I planted some herbs and some flowers. I had leftover marigolds atfer I planted some as companion plants in my Vegepod (a story in itself), and I didn’t have any tomato plants at the time, but those plants needed to be planted out. I specifically bought alyssum to plant because I first planted it when I was a teenager at my parents house, and couple times after that, and I liked it. I had some herbs to plant, and put most of them in the Vegepod (especially coriander because it has be kept away from dogs) along with lettuce. I planted parsley, mainly because I had several plants, and also mint because it needs to be in a pot to keep it from taking over.

It turned out that I grew too much parsley because I planted as much as I would’ve if Nigel was still here (he liked curly parsley; I’m pretty much indifferent, but generally prefer leafy parsley). That’s why I had so much to plant. I think it looks pretty, though. I’ve also never had as much success with alyssum as I have this year, and even harvested some marigold seeds already.

The planters are much more productive in my new place than they were at the old one, which is obvious to anyone who saw them before I didn’t share any photos of them at the old place). I like that fact they’re so much more productive, but there’s something else. Part of the reason they weren’t more productive at the old place is because I didn’t have the energy to plant them out back then. I didn’t have much more energy this time than back then, but it helped that this time I didn’t have to haul heavy bags of soil upstairs so I could get it to the deck. I’m also watering them every evening, which is a main reason why they’re doing so well.

I planted everything just before my trip to Queenstown last November. Not long after we got back I had my cardiac cryoablation procedure and I have slightly more energy than I did before it, though I still have to “ration” my energy over the course of a day (most days I can “recharge” by sitting and resting for at least a half hour or so). And that means that I think that next year will be easier to plant out—and I’ll even be better at planning what I’ll plant where.

All of which shows that it’s possible to make something work when it didn’t before. I guess that’s somewhat true of me as well.

This is greatly expanded version of something I posted to Instagram, where all the photos can be seen at a larger size.


Roger Owen Green said...

Who's Herb? Oh, herbs! Never mind.

Arthur Schenck said...

Dunno, but the group Herbs had a hit with the song "French Letter", re-released in 1995 to protest French nuclear tests in the Pacific: