How Green is Your Thumb?

Do you have a green thumb? My Big Momma had one. My mom-in-law has one. Mine is kind of a limey color, not quite green, but I'm working on it. This blog will share cheap, simple hacks I've discovered to get you on your way to growing your own stuff: food, pretty flowers, herbs... get your grow on!

Let me preface this by saying that I'm no expert. I don't even think I can claim intermediate status yet, but that's the very reason to read on. We'll learn from each other and laugh at our mistakes along the way. I've always chosen the easiest gardening plan possible, so if you're into that, subscribe and join in on the fun!

1. Do you have a spade? You can get one at a dollar store if need be. If you're desperate, use a cup. Do what you gotta do. If you want something that will last longer than one season, you might want to try this set.

2. Do you have a container? Pots are cheap. Another item to get at the dollar store. If not, a colander has holes, a large one could work. I've also used buckets. Old coolers or a milk jug cut at the top would do. Make sure you drill holes in the bottom of whatever you choose for drainage if there are none. Look around your house and shed. I bet you can find something. If not, drive around and look on the side of the road. Someone will have thrown something out you can use. If you want some brightly colored, cute pots that are lightweight and self watering, try these.

3. Seeds or plants can be bought at most discount mega stores. You can also try cutting off a small branch (at an angle) of a plant you already have, putting it in water, and praying for it to grow roots. They make rooting powder, but I don't have any, so prayer will have to do. Then you could plant the little seedling. This step requires some patience. I'm trying it for the first time this year with jasmine and a rose bush. Wish me luck!

4. Vegetables have seeds. There are TONS of videos on how to sprout seedlings from them online. Check your refrigerator! I tried peppers this year. Now we wait. This gardening thing is not for those who require immediate satisfaction. If you want a mega pack of seeds, try these.

5. You will need to buy potting soil. I've always bought the cheapest kind, and it's worked just fine for my little needs. I've also purchased the more expensive Miracle Grow kind, and it did work a little better. Your wallet, your choice.

6. Crumbled up egg shells supposedly keep pests away. Just sprinkle a layer around the plants. I haven't tried that yet, but plan to this year if I can remember to keep the shells. Easy peasy.

7. Coffee filters in the bottom of pots will help keep the soil in and still drain properly. Well I wish I'd known that years ago! So much soil has been wasted draining out of the bottom of pots. New lesson learned.

8. Some plants deter mosquitos. If you read my "Bugs Begone" blog, you know that these little pests love me. I'll be adding lemon grass, citronella, lemon thyme, catnip, marigold and ageratum this year. It even looks pretty, check this out:

SCORE!! I'm so doing this.

9. Use diapers in hanging baskets to retain moisture. Lay them in the bottom with the absorbent sides up and they will hold water in for a long time as well as keep soil from draining so much. Please use CLEAN diapers unless you want a nasty odor wafting through your patio. Yuck. I know poo is a fertilizer, but that would be going too far.

10. If you're truly lazy, you can grow things straight out of the soil bag. Just punch some tiny holes on one side for drainage, lay the bag on the other side, cut the thing down the middle, pull back the wrapping, and voila! Ready for planting. Instant garden. You will most likely be made fun of, but who cares? You're doing your part in being green. You can graduate to pots later.

These little green nuggets are going to need water and sun. You'll have to read the tag on the plant or google to see how much of each they require. If you don't, you'll wind up with dead plants. Trust me, I know. I've tried some of the plant food options from the store, and the internet has plenty of natural, inexpensive tricks if you want to go that route. Treat these plants like children. They'll need pruning and weeding from time to time, just like kiddos need a haircut. With a little love and care, you too can grow something wonderful!

Obviously, this is for beginners. If you want to go whole hog, check out my sistah

Stacy Lyn Harris's instagram or She's like the local Joanna Gaines. This girl has so many tips it's crazy! Here's a link to one of her books. Don't get intimidated and quit. Start small and work your way up. Baby steps people.

Let's post our pics as our little gardens progress, succeed or fail! I'll start with my baby clippings and pepper hacks. That's as far as I've gotten this year.

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