Garden Grows or: How I Learned to (hopefully) Stop Killing My Plants. Part III.

Gardening has been such a learning experience!  I’m learning to cultivate food-producing plants in a super hot and dry climate while also growing said plants in containers instead of the earth.  I’ve learned there is indeed a difference between ‘garden soil’ and ‘container/potting mix,’ efficient tips for using one’s power-drill, and hopefully a bit of patience.

This experience has also taught me to really trust my plants to tell me what they need.  Which is why when St. Vincent, tomato plant #2, started to look a little worse for wear, I really took great care to try and remedy her situation.

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I promise this is far less sinister than it appears.

It seemed to me that St. Vincent’s bucket was holding too much water, that she wasn’t getting proper drainage.  Lucky for me, I’m well-acquainted with my power-drill at this point in the game, so with zero hesitation, I set up a little outside bucket surgical space—complete with safety goggles because SAFETY FIRST, Y’ALL!

It was a quick and easy surgery!  I added another ring of holes in the bottom.  I considered drilling more in the sides as well, but I wanted to see if the first wave of changes make any difference.

I’m happy to report that currently St. Vincent seems to be enjoying better drainage.  She’s still the weakest of the plants—surprising because she and Agatha started of similar strength and size.

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St. Vincent (May 7, 2018)

Those bottom branches still look a bit weak, so I may prune them.  But I’m encouraged by the brighter green growth at the top coming in—it looks so strong!  I’m still hopeful that she’ll bounce back and we’ll get some great fruit from her!

This experience definitely solidified my future planting process in that I’ll probably never start just one plant and hope for the best.  It’s great to have a safety net, an insurance policy to ensure some type of harvest.  It’s also grand to get to run your own little experiments on them—like fertilizers, locations, feeding/watering schedules, etc.

If you’re a former-plant-killer (like myself) trying to amend your ways, my biggest piece of advice is to not give up!  Persistence will pay off, especially when coupled with research.  Ask your gardening enthusiast pals, consult the interwebs, and document everything, so you can implement better procedures in the following years!


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We’re considering starting an Instant Ramen Fund in case the whole garden experiment goes completely awry.

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