A couple of years ago I thought I’d be ambitious with my first foray into gardening and attempt to grow herbs from seeds. Well, it was very exciting the first couple of weeks when the seeds sprouted and little one inch plants were born. But that’s where it ended. While the parsley quickly did not survive, I held out hope for my basil until I realized it was just never going to grow. Well this year I was determined to grow a garden for real, so a few weeks ago, during a trip to Home Depot, we decided on a whim to pick up some starters and supplies to build our own planter.
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that only after my husband spent all day helping me build a beautiful planter did we realize the wood had been previously stained. Wah wah. We salvaged most of the vegetable and herb plants and repotted them in random pots we found around our apartment. We even thought we’d try one in a random patch of dirt, and that one seems to be growing the strongest.
We couldn’t let the planter go to waste, so we planted a couple of (inedible) lavender plants and a lot of sunflower seeds – both dwarf and teddy bear. My husband has plans for a more complex planter we’re hoping to build soon, but if you decide to make one like this, ask the Home Depot guys to point you in the direction of non-toxic wood (that also won’t warp). We were pretty bummed at first, but I’m also pretty excited to have a little sunflower garden; they are my favorite flowers after all.
The design of the planter is simple. We made a frame with a post at each corner and then screwed two planks of wood to each side. For the bottom of the planter, we laid down planks of wood with gaps in between for drainage; we also drilled holes into the planks for extra drainage. We put four wheels (with locks) on the bottom, so we could easily move the planter and lock it into place.
Right now we are growing basil and an assortment of bell peppers, in addition to the lavender and sunflowers in the planters. I’m not sure what I want to grow when we make another planter, but I’m thinking tomatoes and some other herbs.
The sunflower seeds are sprouting after only a week! Is it weird how excited this makes me? I’m obsessed.
Do you see that bell pepper already growing? It gets bigger every day. Nature is crazy, y’all.
I’m happy, and hopeful, to check this off my 25 for 25 list. My husband has been surprisingly really into it as well, checking his seedlings every day to water and nurture them. I think the reason gardening appeals to me, much like motherhood does, is I get to focus my attention outside of myself. It’s not about me; it’s about them. I get to check into how they’re doing – watering them when they’re drooping, making sure they get enough sunlight, marveling at their quick growth. Life is a beautiful thing. And I don’t think I’ll ever stop being amazed.
P.S. The fiddle leaf fig we have in our bedroom isn’t doing so hot. The bottom leaves are browning, and a couple have fallen off. I think those leaves must not be getting enough light, as the top ones seem to be doing well. I may have to move it outside and see how it fares. Anyone have experience with these? It saddens me to see it hurt so.