Fruits and veggies nom nom nom

On Monday I got the project itchies and decided to go on an adventure. After rampaging about on my bike for a few hours, hitting the library and borrowing 10 DVDs and a similar number of books and stopping at Talin, a local "world food" market for coconut water, I somehow ended up at Walmart (oh no I just looked up and there's a giant spider crawling up my wall 0_o it has a yellow stripe down it's back). Now I knooooow that Walmart is a bastion of unethical corporate behavior but..... they do have cheap products.... So I wandered in through the gardening section.
Basically I went nuts.
I only had about $30 left on me but I left with 54 cents. I ended up getting some potting soil and a bunch of plants. Two decorative water lily type things (not sure what they are called), basil, an orange bell pepper plant, some kind of hybrid yellow cherry tomato plant and a strawberry plant. Also a bunch of red lettuce sprouts. I bought larger plants to make up for starting so late in the season. Luckily this is New Mexico so it should be reasonably warm until November.
So... there I was trundling out with my purchases. I rolled the cart up to my ride.... passerby pointed and laughed (not cool) while I carefully loaded the plants into the super adorable white detachable basket (convenient!) hanging from the front of my bike. I managed to get all the plants in front without squishing any leaves. The sack of soil I squashed up as small (ooh alliteration win) as possible and bungy corded to this thing on the back (not sure what it's called) that I think is intended for baskets. So at this point I was finally able to free my bike and care straddle it by climbing over the soil using a bolder. And I rode home wobbling from the awesome weight of all I had managed to attach to myself. The basil smelled amazing fyi.
I managed to get all the way home without mishap and lean my bike against the wall. After extricating myself
from my backpack I tried to shove it into the house while avoiding being gnawed on in welcome by a certain overly excitable puppy who goes by the name of Evelyn. About this moment is when my bike randomly decides to take a flying leap off of the porch. BANG. Basil leaves everywhere. Also 2 caterpillars and a bunch of aphids (I guess the fall was a good thing then). So as I rushed around trying to save poor plants and repot them I suddenly realized... I FORGOT THE POTS. dang. and then I remembered those awful expensive hanging tomato baskets at Walgreens.
I raided my room mates recyclable materials bag. She has one full of glass bottles and another filled with plastic. I snitched two 2 lt soda bottle and two milk gallon jugs. Then I cut the bottoms off of them all and punch two holes on either side through which I strung some old shoe laces. Then came the hard part: getting my rescued plant babies into their new homes... They were too big and fluffy, too many sprouts and leafy bits. They just wouldn't fit. Sooooo I wrapped the leaves up as tightly as I could without crunching them, then slowly and carefully pulled firmly through the holes in the bottles. It was especially hard on basil and she came out much worse for the wear. (Before this I had already removed each plant from it's pot and loosened up the roots. I think if the roots are smaller you could put the plant in roots first or even start it growing in the pot and cut off the bottom when it's big enough to hang.) Afterwards I filled my makeshift pots with dirt and hung them outside.
Currently my plants have healed from their jarring experiences and after only 5 days they are already growing upwards towards the sun
shine that hits them from the west. I water them until they seep out the root hole every evening to prevent them drying out.
Unfortunately I couldn't do this with the lettuce and I haven't yet found a solution. A gardening article I read suggested making a hydroponic planter for lettuce out of PVC tubing so I will tell you about that later.


Writers Studio 13 at: September 11, 2010 at 4:28 PM said...

I would love to feature some of your contributions on my blog

I get around 5000 views a month and have over 100 subscribers. You're blog is excellent and I would love to share some of my traffic with you -- as I always feature a lot of gardening and related eco topics on mine as well.

Great work. Love the look of it. Very rustic and makes me want to go dig in the dirt as well (great time of the year for peas and whatnot here in the desert!)

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