Need Some Green?

Thursday, July 10, 2014

No, I'm not giving away money. I'm talking about the other green! Plants!! I can't lie and say that I have the best green thumb there is. I've murdered plenty of perfectly good plants. I tried for years to get the damn things to stay alive but hardly any luck. A couple years ago, I decided that I wouldn't kill anymore. Easy enough.
Of course, it's not easy. But it can be done.

My first tip is to just start. Start with seeds or starter plants. Start with succulents. Just start. And when you do start, start small. Don't go out and buy hundreds of dollars worth of plants or 50 packets of seeds.

We started with just a small patch in our backyard and a few succulents inside.
The first year we did this, we had no plan. We just threw some seeds in the dirt and wished for the best.
 We got lucky...
Very lucky.  The carrots were small, but HEY! THEY ARE CARROTS! And BEETS! Go us!
We were happy with the garden that year. We were outside all the time. Then pregnancy and summer hit and you couldn't have dragged me outside. Things died. Lots of things. But Texas has brutal summer heat. Even if we had tried our hardest to keep every single plant alive, we would have failed.
This year, we tried a few new seeds. Those little guys under the "Smith" sign were supposed to be okra....
Not okra. These beautiful sunflowers were planted the year before, but never took. I thought it was a failed seed pack. That happens. No big deal. This year, I bought a pack of okra seeds. Plants them and almost automatically (3 or so days later), we had little plants. I was so pumped! OKRA! Then little buds formed. Then these ladies bloomed. Much better than okra, if ya ask me.

My second tip is, remember the seasons. You don't have to do a bunch of research, although it does help. Just pay attention to your seasons in whatever part of the world you are in. Beets and carrots grow well here in the Fall and Spring but in the Summer, the ground is just too dang hot. We had a giant cabbage plant that lasted through the entire Winter. Snow and complete freezes and still kicking. We've learned a lot. And each year/season, we pretty much start over. Not totally from scratch, but close to it.

Third tip, bring some life indoors. These babies are my favorite things ever. I have a few.... ok, more like a metric ton of these little guys in our house. Simple, plain terra cotta pots, dirt, rocks, plant. Easy. You water them maybe twice in 2 weeks, but usually just once. I use a spray bottle to make sure I don't over water them.
I have them throughout the house. This is on top of the dinning table. By putting the pots on a small pretty cutting board, I can move it around if needed and the tabletop doesn't get any water damage.
The mantel plant is actually a cutting from my mom's backyard. I have a few of them. This one is just the perfect height for the mantel.
We also have a few plant stands in the house. This is my favorite. EVER. It has a small fern on top and succulents. All in terra cotta pots.

Final tip...get everyone involved. Everyone in the house (except for the baby, his time is coming...) is responsible for the plants. If you notice one isn't feeling so well, you fix it or let someone know. Everyone waters the plants. Everyone trims the plants. Why? These plants are enjoyed by the whole family and let's be's a lot of work. Jack likes to water the plants outside with the hose. He usually is allowed to get soaking wet in the process, which is awesome for him. He also likes to water the plants inside with a spray bottle. We have a couple plants that need a certain amount of light and water and you can tell when they aren't feeling well. It's his job to check them daily.

I hope this is helpful to some. If not, then at least you got to see some pretty pictures!!

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