With apologies to Chesapeake Bay Woman for ripping off imitating her patented tutorial format, I’d like to present my readers with one of my own. It’s possible highly likely that you already know way more than I do about growing an herb garden; nevertheless, you might glean a humorous superfluous helpful nugget in my take on
Container Gardening: Culinary Herbs
1. Think about how nice it would be to grow and harvest your own herbs. Consider doing it, then forget procrastinate for two five eight years.
2. Make and drink a Mojito, made using mint from a $3 plastic clamshell package. Fall in love with said Mojito. Think about how many more mojitos you could make if only you had lots of fresh mint in your very own garden. Obsess about Envision this:
3. Have an epiphany: This year, you WILL grow your own herbs. Be sure to choose a convenient location for your revelation, such as the gardening aisle in The Hundred Dollar Store Target.
4. Impulsively purchase three good sized, terra cotta-look, plastic planters (the ones on sale), two smallish bags of potting soil (whatever fits in your basket), and seed packets for mint, plus two kinds of basil, chives, parsley, cilantro, and rosemary. Decide against buying those super-cute red plastic garden clogs. Pat self on back for remembering you already own a pair of pristine garden gloves and a trowel, thus preventing the unnecessary outlay of additional cash.
5. Bring items home and deposit them on your carport. Allow them to sit, untouched, for eons until the very end of May. Rationalize your procrastination as an attempt to prevent frost damage to your future seedlings, even though the last frost in Plant Hardiness Zone 7 is almost never later than the end of April. Which was a month ago.
6. Realize you don’t have enough bagged soil or pots for all the seeds you bought. Scrounge up two additional pots from previous failed attempts at horticulture. Take shovel into the woods out back and dig up some dirt.
7. Remember that you have been diligently placing kitchen scraps into a compost bin for seven years but have never actually used the compost for gardening. Decide that there’s no time like the present to mix some compost into the dirt.
8. Approach the compost bin with a pitchfork. Realize that the idea of composting is much more attractive than the reality of it. Ew! Nevertheless, push aside crushed egg shells, rotting broccoli stems and decomposing lime rinds to get to the good stuff underneath.
9. Fill the pots two-thirds full of the dirt-compost mixture. Bring them back to the patio. Open and drink a Diet Pepsi. Chat with Former Neighbor Dave, who drops by for a quick visit.
10. Open the bags of potting soil and place some in each of the pots.
11. Finally! Time for the seeds. Open the packets and scatter the seeds on the dirt. Ignore the instructions on each packet advising you to start seeds indoors 8-10 weeks before planting. Mentally calculate the possibility that you won’t have fresh herbs until the first frost in the fall, which, in Plant Hardiness Zone 7, could be as early as the end of September, well after the end of Mojito Season.
12. Top with more potting soil and water. Label the pots so you will be able to tell the cilantro from the Italian flat-leaf parsley when they begin to sprout at the end of the germination period, listed on the seed packages as 10-14 months weeks days.
13. While you’re busy ignoring key details, choose also to ignore the fact that you may as well live in a cave for all the direct sunlight your heavily-treed lot receives. Consider indoor grow-lights as an alternative, then quickly reject that as a sure invitation to unwelcome visits from The Authorities.
14. Consider, too, that you have no elevated surface on which to place the pots, thus leaving them at the exact height of most critters’ mouths. Daydream about buying a charming rustic potting bench from Smith & Hawken, then do more mental math to figure out how many packages of already grown and harvested store-bought herbs you could buy (approximately 80) for the price of a Smith & Hawken potting bench.
15. Resolve to stop by K-Mart’s Garden Shop on the way home to buy a few more herbs– already started — and another pot, so you don’t have to wait until Halloween for your first homegrown Mojito.
16. Further resolve to look into whether it’s possible to grow lime trees in Maryland, which is in Plant Hardiness Zone 7.
Filed under: humor, joys of homeownership, nature vs. nurture, Old enough to know better, slow learner, suburbs, The great outdoors, tutorial, Why I'm The Way I Am | Tagged: gardening, herbs, mint, mojito, procrastination, Smith & Hawken | 10 Comments »