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  • Last visit: December 8th, 2010
  • Joined: December 8th, 2010
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I’ve been kinda wanting to share my new gardening experiences with the public so here goes. I recently brought home some seeds from the foods that I work with (I work as a line cook). It started with some green bell peppers about 4–5 months ago. They germinated and started growing. I first had them in a semi-large container that we buy our baby mixed greens in from the grocery store. We got a couple of peppers out of it that were really small (a little bigger than a golf ball, and then one a bit bigger than that). My sister in law broke a piece off of it (I was pissed) I put the broken stem in water and it rooted. I then pruned a branch and rooted that one too.
Well with the success of that plant, I decided I wanted to try my luck with an upside down tomato plant. I have some old 5 gal water bottles left from when we had a water cooler that broke. I cut one in half and put my pepper plants in the bottom (where I have 3 store sized peppers). I put some tomato seeds that I brought from work in a cardboard egg container cup with some soil. I thought it would work to just set it in the neck of the water bottle top and make an upside down planter. It failed misserably. I didn’t put any soil in the bottle, so when the cardboard egg cup fell through the neck my poor sproutlings were all over the floor. I tried to save them but couldn’t. The next time I tried, I covered the top of the neck with tape and filled it up from the bottom. Held the soil in place with some old t-shirts and duct tape. Flipped it back over and took the tape off the neck. I then sprouted the seeds (brought from a tomato cut at work again) in my paper towel. When they broke the shell of thier seeds I put them in the neck and covered them with a bit more soil. So far they’re doing well. I just today hung them upside down. All the sproutlings have at least 3 true leaves and are looking fairly healthy. I may have too many plants for the size of the container (about 10 plants)....but I figure with enough fertilizer they should be ok. With my next upside down container I’m going to use a metal mixing bowl on the bottom of the container to hold the soil. (the duct tape and t-shirt thing sagged and didn’t hold the soil tight enough to the top of the bottle. This caused some less than desireable results.)
All of my plants are the product of bringing home something from work. I brought some Mint and Basil clippings that are doing quite well. I have a few little Jalapeno, and Scotch Bonnet plants from seed (the Jalapeno have been the hardest to germinate for me) My work got in some red and orange bell peppers for some skewers we made for a party and I brought home some of those seeds. The reds germinated alot faster but I actually got a higher % of germ from the orange bells.
The other day I took home some strawberries that were going bad. I read that if you put them in a blender the good seeds sink and you can plant them. I had to mush them by hand though, and just put them in soil yesterday. I broke my blender making “mushroom food” to try my hand at growing mushrooms. Are mushrooms supposed to stink to all high heaven? I think the mushrooms aren’t gonna work.
I bought some plum tomatos and small sweet peppers at the store to plant their seeds. I think I might need to break down and buy some seeds online to get a few varieties that you can’t buy in the grocery store. Such as Bolivian Rainbow, Firecracker, Bhut Jolokia, Pretty Purple, just to name a few. Anyway I’m quite proud of my “frugal garden” and wanted to share my experience….in my quest to find helpful information I’ve seen alot of people talking about PH levels and so such….I don’t think gardening needs to be so stressful. Just give em a bit of sun and some water with an occasional fertilizer and you should have some plants growing…the ones I have are quite resilient.

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