Thursday 30 April 2020

Do You Have a Green Thumb?

I get asked this from time to time and really
I don't think it's the right question.  
I don't believe in having a green thumb although some people 
are more adept with plants then others.  

I think it has to do with learning. 
Have you had a chance to learn about plants? 
Do you have an interest in them? 
It's about taking time for them... and learning what they need. 
They are living things.

I strongly believe anyone can grow plants and do well.
Like all skills it takes learning and practice. 
I had a lot of practice growing up as my Mom loved plants and 
from a young age had me helping with them. 

I have lived most of my life in northern Canada...and our growing season
 is very short compared to many other places. 
You just start when there is a bit more sun shining in planting seeds....
plus starting them as early as you can for the time to grow is shorter. 
Then you do have to fuss over them for a short time so they don't dry out or get too cold. 
You have to set time out of your day each day to make sure they get watered 
(but not too much)
and as they grow out of their pots you put them in bigger ones. 
Plants need soil, sunlight, and water to grow. 
As long as you can give them that...then things usually go quite smoothly. 
Talking to your plants some say helps to. :) 

I have learned from many experienced gardeners over the years. 
One thing I find fascinating is how certain plants like each other. 
Some plants help each other grow, and others ward off pests. 
Like in the picture below I have tomatoes.  
The ones in the back I'm going to grow all summer...and the ones
in the front are going to go to other homes. 
The ones I'm keeping I put in a pot that they'll stay in all summer.  
I added some basil and a marigold to each of the pots. 
These three different plants grow well together and share the space well. 
Their roots all grow at different depths so they don't fight for soil space. 
That is a wonderful way to combine plants to utilize small growing spaces. 
Often called companion planting...there is a lot of wisdom in it.  
Yet's just a learning process and seeing how it can work in your garden. 

With moving I like to grow things in pots to be able to take them with me.  
I don't have a big garden plot...although would love one. 
SO....finding ways to grow more in smaller spaces is just necessary. 
This past winter/ spring my kids and I grew radishes in a tray.  
They have very shallow roots and so the tray was perfect for them. 
We grew some lettuce and spinach...which we are still enjoying and we put those 
in three inch pots and their roots are just fine.  

An important aspect of soil. 
It is often overlooked, but is the key to growing healthy plants.  
I've used tons of different kinds of soil as well as amended garden plot 
soils to be more productive. 
I personally am using Pro-Mix soil at the moment and it seems to work well. 
You don't want a heavy soil for pots as it needs to be able to let the plants breathe 
and not become waterlogged, or dry out completely. 
One day I'd love to be able to make my own soil mix...but it's just not happened yet. 

Another important aspect if you are able is good water. 
(without chemicals/ water softener salt) 
Rain water when possible is a great option. 
Also as the plants mature they need more nutrients.  
Compost teas (where you soak compost in water) will give your plants 
some needed nutrition.  
There are lots of fertilizers out there...but I love to use those that are natural. 

So in all...plants need soil, water and sunshine. 
A little time out of your day to pay attention to them is always beneficial. 
Just like any living takes a bit of time. 
Time that I feel is always worth it! 
Just to see the beauty of growing things with colourful flowers, 
and the oxygen they produce is a real benefit to you and your family. 

Below I planted a sunflower along with marigolds and some chamomile. 
All with different root depth needs.  
The flowers are for just being pretty...although the chamomile flowers 
will be dried for tea this coming winter. 

For indoor plants...I love those to.  
To have them year round to enjoy and knowing that they are working 
to help clean our air and to give us oxygen is worth the time 
spent caring for them. 
Make sure they have some light, some water at least once a week, 
and some fresh soil from time to time.  
Also if you have a bunch of plants together consider what "friends" they may have.
I like to put plants that are of different shapes and sizes together. 
They use the light differently.  
Such as it a bit I have them behind 
my geraniums that love full sun.

A note about herbs though: they do take a lot more water 
then other house plants 
so they need to be watered more often.

You may be surprised how much you can grow 
if you are not used to it.  
No one has a black thumb.  
Just take a bit of time out of your days to practice and try new things. 

I hope you have a beautiful day!  
Perhaps you'll jump into growing some things...if you don't already. 

Love and Prayers,


Sunshine Country said...

Thank you so much for sharing more about how you grow your plants! I was exited to see your post, and enjoyed reading it. I appreciate the tips you gave! My biggest problem, I think, seems to be that I find trouble providing enough light for my plants. I do not have a good window that lets in enough light. We do have a sun room/porch, but it gets too cold during the winter to grow plants very well in. I think my next investment will be for a good grow light. :) Seeing the success with your plants makes me know it can be done! I did grow indoor seedlings succesfully when we lived further south and had a greenhouse, and again I believe the difference was due to having plenty of good light.

I love your idea for using rainwater for indoor plants. I plan to give this a try as soon as I can. I do remember many times being amazed after a rainfall how much better the garden had grown, compared to when I just watered with a hose.

Thank you again for all that you shared!

mamasmercantile said...

With regard to the comment above I do so wish that if somebody has got something to say that they would leave there name and not hide behind anonymous.
I love the idea of companion growing, its working our which plants grow well together that can be a little troublesome. Take care.

Andrea Ostapovitch said...

Yes, like you, I've been told I have a green thumb. And I agree, it's just all about paying attention to the plants needs. I believe a green thumb is just a person who enjoys being around and taking care of plants, not that they possess some innate understanding that the rest of us are not privy to. I just did a post on what's going on in my greenhouse, so you can see how much I love plants.

Margie said...

I don't have a strong interest in gardening, so I'm drawn to "low-maintenance" plants.

I'm thrilled that my indoor African violets have bloomed...I hope to share a pic in an upcoming post!

Sister in the Mid-west said...

Maybe I have misunderstood what you said about wishing people would leave their name, but it seem to me that you have done the thing that you wish people would not do. Am I wrong?

Sister in the Mid-west said...

You have a lot of good information here! Like Sunshine Country, I feel like my biggest problem is lack of quality lighting and warm enough temperatures. Thanks for sharing what you have learned! :)

Jennifer said...

HI Thank you all so very much for all your thoughtful comments!!! I treasure them all!
Unfortunately I had an anonymous commenter who left an inappropriate comment above Mamasmercantile. I deleted it and so it's gone. It had said a comment was deleted...but that isn't there now.
I apologize Sunshine Country for any misunderstaning that has come about.

Sister in the Mid-west said...

After reading Jennifer's comment below, I understand that you weren't being critical of Sunshine Country. That is a relief, she is a personal friend of mine.

Sunshine Country said...

I am sorry for any misunderstanding that came from the anonymous comment being deleted! I actually seen and read the anonymous comment before it was deleted, so I knew what "Mamasmercantile" was referring to. I noticed after it was deleted that it made it appear as if it was referring to me instead, lol, so perhaps I should have made a comment to clarify since I noticed it. Sorry!