Monday, July 11, 2011

Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?

Not very well it seems.....

One of my biggest dreams in starting to live a low impact lifestyle was the idea of creating my own self sustainable garden. I didn't know the first thing about gardening so I knew it would be a challenge however I had no idea how much. I live in the city and in rented accommodation so I do not have space for a true garden, however there are always containers and pots and all sorts of other options for growing vegetables.

Sadly it seems I do not have a green thumb. I have been growing vegetables (well trying to) for 6 months now and my total produce output? 5 tomatoes, 3 minute zucchini, 1 capsicum and 2 chillies. Yes that's right I can nearly count the number of items produced over 6 months on two hands. It's quite pathetic.

At the moment in my winter garden I have peas (or should I say had peas - the seedlings died), broccoli (eaten alive by snails and caterpillars so I don't know if they will recover), coriander (this seems to grow and quite happily), pak choy (quite a hardy plant I'm happy to say but often eaten by various bugs so although will continue to grow many of the leaves are inedible), mint and tyme.

My broccoli eaten alive by snails and caterpillars. Note the egg shells to deter the snails and the tin foil to try and stop the neighbours cat crapping in my pots! Somehow they are holding on though. I'll be very surprised if I see any heads  develop..
My pea seedlings were destroyed.

I will not however give up! I'm nothing if not stubborn so I will continue to grow my piddly plants in the hope that one day something will click and I'll become a gardening guru! It hasn't all been disastrous. The herbs grow quite happily in pots and my coriander and mint have been the most successful. And although my Pak Choy got a beating in it's early days it keeps growing with gusto.

Herbs don't need a lot of care in pots.
Pak Choy is one of the hardiest plants I have come across.

As you can see everything I am growing is in pots and this does increase the difficulty. Unfortunately I don't have a lot of other options. We have only a very small patch of grass at our house and as we are renting, our landlord will not allow us to dig it up, so I have to make do with learning as much as I can about container growing.

I would love to hear tips and advice from others who grow in containers. If you have a blog let me know!

Recently I read a post over at a blossoming homestead which described some of the trials they were having at growing. Until then I had been too scared to post this entry as I felt like a failure not being able to grow anything. But that post made me realise that everyone has problems and if you haven't grown up with gardens or you're not a natural then it can be tough going. But persevere and you never know what might happen.

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