Tuesday, August 04, 2009

going potty: a forest in a bag, and other tales from the deck

After just about a month in the new place, things have settled down enough for me to then look at the deck and the legacy of pots left behind by the landlord. The previous tenant had said that she had not bothered with them at all. Most of them are in bad shape:

full of dead stuff

broken

cracked

A few weeks ago, I had gotten my hands on some spider plant offshoots, and had put them in water in order to grow out some roots. Today, most of them looked like they were plantable. Well, they had to be - the cat had decided she wanted to eat the leaves...

Here you can see how the leaves had suffered from the cat's attention! Hopefully they'll survive... spider plants are supposed to be really hardy things... right?

As I was doing my "gardening", I remembered vaguely a friend of mine from college saying something about baking old dirt / potting soil before reusing it ... heh... whatever - aren't spider plants supposed to really hardy and hard-to-kill? :D

So I've (re-)planted two small and two large pots with spider plant offshoots. Some of the pots are filled with (new) peat moss. Others are using the old soil that was in there, but totally crumbled and mashed up and mixed with another pot's soil. Again: spider plants are supposed to be really hard to kill, so hopefully they'll survive what I've done to them, LoL!

Had a great surprise when opening the unopened bag of potting soil that had been sitting on the deck for a year or three:

Yeah, it's a jungle in there!

Kinda cool, I suppose that bags of soil still have random spores/seeds/roots that can sprout? I know these bags usually have small holes in them, so water can get in... but I guess sunlight -- even if it's through the plastic -- was also sufficient for growth?

There are still many pots to tackle, but until I have more spider plant offshoots to pot, or other hardy herbs that might come in handy, I'll probably let them be for the moment.

If you have any suggestions about what else I could plant out there, by all means leave me a comment :) Take note that since the cat can't be trusted not to gorge on them, I can't bring them inside during winter, I don't know if that makes any difference in suggestions.

Thanks!

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5 comments:

  1. Try cacti. the cat definitely won't be eating them. Most of them don't need much watering and some have really beautiful flowers.

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  2. I have actually managed to kill spider plants pretty easily becaus I am horrible at keeping plants alive. Good luck!

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  3. Save the pieces of those broken/cracked pots and put them into the bottom of a new pot to aid in the draining.

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  4. If you get annuals, you won't need to bring them in--they just die at the end of summer. Also, cats eat plants that are more grassy and/or have long green leaves--try something like petunias or impatiens, something that is bushy and flowery. The cats will leave those kinds of plants alone. Go to your local garden shop to see what grows best in your area and conditions (sunny, shady, etc.)

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  5. @adam good idea! I hear those get killed mainly due to over-waterage. Shouldn't be a problem here LoL!

    @radioactivegirl oh no don't say that! :p btw I checked: looks like only two of the four pots (and2 out of the 8 "offshoots") are surviving. I know some of them didn't seem to have put out roots / long enough roots. Oh well. I have a source for more of 'em.

    @MamaFlo thanks for the reminder! It had popped into my head perhaps a few hours before I saw your comment - I vaguely remember doing that waaay back when i was a young'un helping the parents with some potted plants.

    @Lin I've heard the most (but not all) cats dislike rosemary, so I'm considering getting some of that to have indoors, just to test this statement :) I'll look out for annuals too, thanks!

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*lynne*

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