Thursday, 9 September 2010

My First Take on Gardening

From the time we moved into our own house about 3 years ago, I’ve wanted to grow my own herbs (mainly Mint and Coriander). But things never worked out. I was too busy juggling between my baby and work to do or think anything else.

The thought came back to me in August. It was late summer. With autumn closing in, I wasn’t sure if the plants will grow. After much deliberation, I decided to give it a shot. I roped in another couple to try it out. We met on a Saturday at our house and had lunch. When V went to sleep, I stayed at home and my husband and our friends went to the garden centre and got pots, compost and seeds needed.

We planted Mint, Coriander and Basil in tiny (7 cm) pots. It wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. And the results were beautiful.

I could see the Basil sprout within a week. In the second week, I saw the Coriander sprouting. Mint took another week to show up.

Here’s what I did – Take the pots, fill it with compost, leaving about an inch or so from top. Wet the compost thoroughly with water so it sinks in. Place the seeds and pat them so they stay firm. Now sprinkle about 1/4th inch compost again and water it using a watering can (the one that sprinkles water – not the one that pours) or sprinkle water with hand. Do not pour water as this will displace the seeds and might bring the seeds to the top which will stop the germination process. Cover the pots with cling film / plastic cover to maintain the temperature for the germination. Do not let the soil dry. Keep sprinkling water. You can remove the cling film once you start seeing leaves. Try to put them in a sunny spot as much as possible once they start producing leaves.

I used Miracle Grow Moisture Control Compost.

I hadn’t done my home work well, so I made a mistake of starting in small pots. You need bigger pots to grow the herbs.

Coriander needs a long pot to grow. Apparently its roots are quiet long. And it doesn’t re-pot very well. So I left the small pot as it is and sowed some new seeds in a bigger pot about 5 days ago. They’ll take time to sprout.

Because Basil seeds are so small, I planted half the packet in a small pot. I think each seed sprouted, so I had a pot full of Basil saplings. I had to re pot a few and throw the rest. I felt really sad to throw. But I had no option. I re-potted the saplings in a bigger pot. I hope I did it correctly and my Basil will come up. Its only been a week, so its too early to tell. If the plant doesn’t grow, I’ll put about 15 to 20 seeds in the big pot and try to grow it again from scratch.

If Basil seeds are small, Mint seeds are even smaller. So I put the whole packet into the small pot. As of now, not many Mint sprouts have come out. So it seems ok. But because Mint grows well, I’ll need to re-pot it into a bigger pot in a few weeks time. Hopefully, it’ll survive the re-potting session.

I’ll let you know how my herbs get on. Till then, I’ll leave you with some photos…

My Basil saplings in their new pot on Sept 9th, 2010
My Coriander plant on Sept 9th, 2010
My Mint sprouts on Sept 9th, 2010

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