No such thing as a black thumb

February 27, 2006

Well artsymommachic, there really is no such thing as a black or brown thumb. There is neglect and lack of information. But here is the magic–you want your plants to grow and they want to grow too! Think back to middle school science–one of the characteristics of all living things is reproduction. For many living things, reproduction is the primary goal and once it has been achieved, death follows. Many plants are like this, and that is very good for us! See, we want beautiful flowers and tasty fruits, and for plants, that is their whole goal in life. So really we are allies. You and your plants are both working toward the same goal.
I love plants that produce food. I expect my plants to earn their keep. Plus I think it is fantastic when you can put a tiny seed into the ground, give it dirt and water and sun, and it gives you a meal–miraculous!

I love tomatoes for container gardens. They are low maintenance, grow fast, and have a high yield. Tomatoes are very willing, determined plants. More than once I’ve found volunteer tomatoes growing in the compost pile! If you don’t plan to can or make sauces from your tomatoes then a cherry or yellow pear tomato is very nice for summer salads, or–my favorite way to eat them–popped into your mouth fresh off the vine still warm from the sun!

If you start from seed plant two or three, seed per pot then thin to the stronget seedling after thier first real leaves come in.

People with “black thumbs” usually have a water problem more than anything else. I bet you either over or under water. There are a few rules of thumb so you don’t drown your plant. You can A) water from the bottom. pour the water into the saucer under the pot, if the soil soaks up all the water quickly, add more to the bottom, till there is only a little standing in the base. or B) water from the top, wait till all the water soaks in. If the pot drains any water into the base you’ve watered enough.
Your plant needs water when the soil on top is dry to the touch. In summer, a potted plant–like the tomato I know you’re dying to plant–will want a drink once a day, twice in the hottest times. Water in the morning and evening, and don’t wet the leaves in the morning. Wetting the leaves in hot sunlight can burn your plant.
I really like Miracle Grow potting soil for container gardening. I’m not good at feeding my potted plants, so having an enriched soil makes all the difference.
You don’t need any special pots though, a tomato will grow happily in an old boot if it has proper drainage.
Plant some thing this year–your kids will love it and your heart will feel happy!

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One Response to “No such thing as a black thumb”

  1. Artsy Momma Chic Says:

    I will I will try it!!!! This will be my gardening year!
    The best i’ve ever had happen before was I started a whole bunch of impatiens from seed and took very good care of them in a mini indoor plastic greenhouse thing then they had just been repanted into the next sized pot and we had to go away for the weekend I freaked! then I remembered reading something about hydroponics and filled my double kitchen sink about half way up and set the plants intheir. When i came home i couldn’t beleive how well they flourished. Of course i killed them soon after…..gee
    i once kiled a cactus.

    BUT I’m going to be optimistic (and knowing i cn email you hheeehee) I’m gonna try it this year!!


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