As one who lives on the third floor of an apartment building, gardening had not crossed my mind as an accessible endeavor. There have been opportunities to get my hands dirty at my sister-in-law’s home where we weeded unruly intruders in the backyard and planted tulip bulbs to await their bloom. Eating fresh herbs and growing flowers has always been on the list of “someday’s” and with a little research on container gardening, that someday became today.
Approaching the task with enthusiasm, we settled on planting a seed garden limited to plants capable of surviving in a 12 inch container with partial sun. The seedlings would be raised in a Jiffy greenhouse seed-starter that once sprouted, would be transferred to individual cups and eventually cover our porch in multiple pots and hanging containers.
The Jiffy seed-starter came with individual soil tabs that once watered, expanded like mini-muffins to perfectly house each individual seed.
We planted an herb family of Basil, Cilantro, Parsley, Oregano, and Mesculin (Salad Greens Mix) along with flower varieties of Impatiens, Nasturtiums, Marigolds, and Johnny Jump Up’s. Lastly, Cat Grass and Catnip were added to the mix to fulfill all the ingredients of a hardy beginner’s garden in the first week of May.
Within days, cat grass and cat nip were hitting the roof requiring the transplanting process. Each pod had to have its netting removed before placing in a cup with poked holes for drainage.
The remaining seedlings battled the intrusion of mold as they sat in an environment overwhelmed by moisture, so that all seeds needed to be transferred to plastic containers to bask in the sun on our south-facing windowsill.
In the meantime, some plants outgrew their transient shelters for bigger homes while others slowly faded to over-exposure. Charlie loved the addition of fresh cat grass to the porch.
Sadly, the Mesculin started out strong but did not receive enough water to make it. The dead leaves were taken out for a new batch in a recycled carton of eggs.
What I’ve been learning through this process is that while all of our seeds are listed as partial sun and container friendly, each individual plant reacts differently to the amount of water and exposure to the sun.
The hardiest plant so far has been the evolution of the catnip with its survival and speed ultimately flourishing.
In time, our seedlings will grow into a beautiful porch garden despite the unpredictable maintenance along the way. This has been an enjoyable process nurturing the growth of our plants and learning about the art of gardening.