Friday, August 12

The Epic Plant One

All of my plants flourished while I was gone thanks to the very patient and sensible care of my significant other. After bonding for a few weeks, I am claiming that he has become a surrogate parent. :P This means that from now on, he should have some vested interest in the progress and health of my garden. You know, even more than the tiny percentage he already had to be interested because we're together and they are important to me. LOL.

I wrote a few posts back when I was freaking out about possibly having killed my plants. Now that time has passed, it's been determined to have been the result of my paranoia.

In preparing for my trip, I tried to find the ideal but minimal watering schedule for my peppers. Well, instead of giving them good soaks when they became drier, I had started lightly watering them everyday. This led to them getting way too dry when the humidity let up. I noticed a little drooping, but one morning (July 16th) I woke up and they looked like this:

Red-Green Snail's plant.

Brown-Pink Snail's plant.

Yellow-Teal Snail's plant.
Orange-Purple Snail's plant.

That was the saddest that I have ever seen them! Little did I know back then... I thought because of my daily wetting that I was over-watering. So, I preceded to bring all of my plants outside for a brief field trip to dry out. What a friggin' terrible idea! And I'll show you why later. During this time, I replanted the parsley and tomato seedlings. 

This is the before:

The tomatoes on the right.
The parsley on the left.

And the after:
 Tomato #1
 Tomato #2 - 7 Parsley - Tomato #3

Hooray for reusing old containers and getting oh-so-fancy labels!

Yes, those are toothpicks I'm using to prop up the seedlings. They really love the sun and a single water droplet was enough to take 'em down. So ridiculous, lol. Man up, guys! I also refreshed the pieces of pet grass and gave them a little haircut.

They were still lasting longer than the big-box pet store grass was lasting. Speaking of pet grass, here was how tall ours that was grown from seeds:

Mr. Man is wondering what I'm doing to his beloved grass.

Well, that field trip for the peppers was a total disaster but I didn't realize this until much later. I was a bit more thorough with testing their dirt and decided to give them a solid deep soak and within the hour, they seemed to be rallying.
Red-Green Snail's plant.

Brown-Pink Snail's plant.
Yellow-Teal Snail's plant.

Orange-Purple Snail's plant.

Not bad. By this time, it was late afternoon-early evening and I thought this time outside in indirect sunlight and some breeze would them well. So, I left them outside for the remainder of the night while bring the rest of the plants back inside. Sigh. It's even a wonder how I've managed to survive all these years. My mother is a strong woman, lol. The next morning, kitty helped compelled me into waking up early and checking on my plants. What I saw freaked me out. This is what my poor peppers looked like after I rushed to bring them back in and gave them yet another massive soak:

Red-Green Snail's poor plant.

Brown-Pink Snail's poor plant.

Yellow-Teal Snail's poor plant.

Orange-Purple Snail's poor plant.

Sweet gravy on a stick! What I have I done?! Turns out that was one of the dumbest things I could have done. That was way too intense sun for them and their soil had dried out so much that the top inch was caked hard. Thank goodness that they were starting to perk up after an hour indoors. To top all of this off, I left for Florida two days afterwards. I took pictures the night before I left.

I would have said that RGreen was a good 13 inches tall.

BPink was pretty solid at 12 inches.

 YTeal was somewhere between 11- 11.5 before I left.

Wonky but resilient little OPurple was about 6.5 inches talls.

The other edibles:


And the well-loved/ eaten homegrown pet grass.

The SO did give me some verbal updates on how garden was doing while I was away for almost twenty days. He even sent me a poorly-lit picture messages from his cell phone because I didn't quite believe or rather I wasn't able to fathom how much they had grown once they fully recovered. Are you ready for these pictures from August 7th?

Here's RGreen at a whooping 30 inches tall!

This is BPink at about 28 inches.

YTeal at 24 and 25 inches.

And baby OPurple at 12 inches tall.

Just to recap:

Red-Green: +17 inches.

Brown-Pink: +16 inches.

 Yellow-Teal: +13 to 13.5 inches.

Orange-Purple: + 5.5 inches.

HOLY COW! Right?! I came back to a forest. Here are the rest of the plants upon my return (They are definitely not seedlings anymore!):
 Tomato #1 was just about 6 inches tall!

Tomato #2 comes in around 5 inches tall.

Tomato #3 (once you straighten it out) is about 7 inches.

The parsley are a hot mess at 4 to 4.5 inches. 
I think. How can you really tell? Lol.
What's left after our kitty mowed down the pet grass.

The next day, I started a new batch of cereal pet grass for obvious reasons and here has been their journey for the past few days.

Day 0: August 7th
Seed Soaking and planting into soil after 6-8 hours.

Day 1: August 8th
Hiding and keeping damp in the dark underneath the bathroom sink.

 Day 2: August 9th
By the evening, you can start to see some growth pushing aside the dirt.

Day 3: August 10th
It lives! This is what it looked like in the morning, so I let it come into the gardening forest corner to get some indirect sunlight.

By the afternoon, it's gaining quite a bit of color and more height.

Day 4: August 11th
I'm pretty sure they have doubled in size and really look like baby grass!

It looks like it's gained a good inch by the evening. 

And that brings us to today in terms of cereal grass progress. It is such a fun plant because it's easy to grow, grows like a weed, and the pets adore it. Now, I'm going to rewind a little bit and show you what I did to the other plants since returning from Florida. I had a big crazy day remodeling!

I attempted to make a trellis of sorts for the parsley because the toothpicks were obviously not cutting it anymore.

Take some big ole potting supplies,

Add in some pretty rocks from the backyard that I feel bad burying, 

Dump out some pepper plants upside down after a throughout soak and rough up their outer roots a little,

And add in some real stakes for stability...

To make new 12 inch pots your "forever" home!

This size pot is the biggest these guys should need and they can get up to four feet tall! I actually reversed the order to keep it the same as the order that I kept them in while they were growing up. I have kept a very close eye on the moisture of their soil and their leaves but they have stayed out an entire 24 hours. They are a bit traumatized and look a little sad but they look nothing like how they did after their first field trip. Thank the stars.

That's pretty much it until they perk up again. I had to use more than two bags of soil to fill these pots, they are being rotated a quarter of the way for now, and after getting some advice on the forums (and the logic of the SO), I've learned that that the big leaves and space between the leaves indicate the peppers' desire for more sunlight. They were not getting nearly as much as I thought they were inside. They also will bark up more with some more time and an outside breeze straining-strengthening them. These guys are also starting to bush up to resemble my mother's plants and the very helpful and great people on the forums reminded me to just be patient, it'll happen naturally.

Bam! That was like an epic month-long journey for my garden. I'm kind of itching to keep repotting things but don't want to get into any more shenanigans myself and have been poking at FMIL about helping her out with her plants. Lol. In the next week or two, I plan on doing a dramatic remodel on the tomatoes. I can't wait! This has been so rewarding so far.

See you soon! <3

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