Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I Need a Gardening Tutor

When I was a very little girl, we lived in a house where grape hyacinth (muscari) grew wild in the yard. I thought these were the blue bells I read about in old books, but now I know otherwise. I haven't seen them in years, but seeing this picture recently gave me a flashback...they were the first bouquets I ever made. 

I'd love to grow them in a container, and I read the instructions, but I guess they're bulbs and that means I should have planted them a long time ago? I seriously need a gardening tutor. I've decided I'm not going to try to do the whole gardening thing this summer, even though I still have the containers. It's just too expensive if you know you're not diligent enough (yet).

Does anyone have any gardening 101 tips to share? I'd like to put out some potted plants that:
A) Don't need a lot of direct sunlight
B) Can survive if I miss a day of watering.

Do such plants exist?! Help!


Jackie said...

Start with a philodendron. It's a vine plant, similar to ivy, impossible to kill. My mom has one in her foyer, which gets some sun, but not bunches, and she doesn't water them every day. Plus, they grow really fast so you feel accomplished.

It's a good trainee plant, I think.


EmilyO said...

I did a lot of garden research a few years ago for my first grown up garden. Unfortunately a lot of shady plants make up for their sun needs in water needs. In the beginning you have to be diligent about watering, but later on once they're established they won't cringe and die if you miss a day.

For you it would probably be better to go buy starter plants from the nursery rather than start growing from seed. Its more expensive, but worth it if you want to succeed!

Here's some good ones

Other field greens
Sage- very hardy, doesn't need a lot of water, but maybe more sun
Rosemary?-again probably more sun
Cilantro- but its very tricky
Celery leaves

Thats all I can think of!

Suzanne Tate said...

Here is a good list: http://www.guide-to-houseplants.com/10-house-plants-you-cant-kill.html

Good title, huh?

You could grow some herbs in a pot in a sunny window. Buy plants to get started (starting from seed is an intermediate or advanced skill for herbs.)

Amber said...

Thank you EVERYONE for such great tips. I'm feeling a little more enthused about trying again. I also think I might buy one of those water globe things for when I have to go out of town.

Now can anyone tell me if it's officially time to start putting stuff out yet?

Amber said...

Oh and Emily, cilantro was my worst failure last year, and so sad because I just love it!

Suzanne Tate said...

You frost date in Newport News is probably March 15 (the last date to typically get a hard, killing frost). You should be in the clear to plant annuals. For bulbs that bloom in the spring, plant in the fall before the ground gets hard/frozen. Virginia Cooperative Extension has tons of info online for all regions of Virginia. (And definitely buy a new cilantro plant; the seeds are so tiny!)