Saturday, April 5, 2014


Now this is my favorite plant in our yard. I think it's called "Hen and Chicks". I planted it. I ignored it. I have never watered it. It grows like a weed. Perfect. 

My post Planning Fun brought these comments/questions:

This from Kelly: Wait, wait, could we have more technical info on this fern growing enterprise? All I can find online about growing new fern plants is information about dividing mature plants or propagating from spores, which takes a long time. You are starting with what look like seedlings. How did you manage that?

Ok, Kelly. I'm going to let you in on a super duper secret.

::shifty eyes::

The truth is that I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing here.

I bought bags of perennial Christmas fern roots at WalMart.  The scientific name of this hardy beauty is Polystichum acrostichoides. I chose this species because they were cheap at about two dollars a plant, I liked the picture of the thing on the bag, and the information said that they were hardy plants. I have very highly detailed criteria for choosing MY flora. Snort.

When I opened up the plastic bag, I saw that it contained three globs of hard brown plant matter with trailing roots. A closer inspection showed that each glob was sending out a cute little green fiddlehead sprout. Naomi and I just planted each .... thing .... (they really did not look like a bulb to me but the packages were found in the tulip/bulb display in the store) in potting soil at the depth they suggested on the bag with the root thingies pointing down and the new sprout on the top. We'll see how they turn out.

 And this one from Jody: Any suggestions for easy to grow veggies or flowering plants? I'm hopelessly non-green thumbed.

Well, Jody, having divulged the fact that I'm kind of a clueless horticulturist, you may choose to follow my advice....or not. But here goes. (Now I know that oodles of Reasonably Well's readers are not only green-thumbed but heck. I suspect that they could be green-BODIED. In other words, are far better equipped with gardening skills than I am. So feel free to chime in here, people.)

If you visit a plant nursery/garden center and look out at a sea of green plants, the idea of choosing just a few varieties can be pretty intimidating. I have done some container gardening in the past and I think the best advice that I could give you is to buy plants that are specifically labeled as container plants. I've had some good luck with container cherry tomatoes, and a bush variety of cucumber. My daughter #2 has grown some herbs in containers with success.

Above all, don't be like me and blithely disregard the instructions regarding sun or shade and watering. I've learned that the people that write those instructions know what they're doing the hard way -- resulting in yellow spindly non-fruit bearing plants -- which is why in the fern incident described above I actually read and followed the instructions.

So there you have it. What's your success stories with gardening? Hey, Terese. Want to share the time you decided to grow your own cigars?


Laura said...

If you are worried you will be short on time for tending them, and you want them to live, unless it's a cactus / doesn't need frequent watering, consider a planter with a water reservoir (Earthbox, City Pickers, etc.). They need to be watered less frequently.

Oh, and don't let the 2-year-old near any tomatoes unsupervised for even 10 seconds. :P

ShEiLa said...

Your sarcasm keeps me smiling!
((Hugs to you Miss Julia))