I’m not sure what happened exactly. Last month, my thumb was black as ink. Today it’s greener than green. It’s so green that I think I’m turning into a gardening Hulk. Because my thumb is now mutating into a giant green monster that grows giant green plants that are out of control and taking over my back patio in a solo-cup-infested jungle.

Wait. Let me back up a little.

In the middle of March, we went to visit a friend of Jason’s who has a vegetable garden. I have always admired her lovely garden which was filled with not only edibles but paper white narcissus, succulents, irises, and other Texas natives. Growing my own organic fruits and veggies has always been a dream of mine. But the dream was always far-fetched like a distant star winking back at me from the black abyss. His friend offered up some of her plants should I ever follow through with my “dream” of growing.

Something clicked in that moment. This wasn’t the first time she’d offered up plants. And this wasn’t the first time I’d talked the talk of starting my own greenscape. In fact, my Grandma has always had impeccable luck growing things (some of her plants started as mere clippings she found in the grocery store…true story!), and for years I told her I would love to be able to garden, too.

Standing in that garden, I made the decision: I was going to grow our basic vegetables in our backyard. And thus the monster was born.

herbs 1

Budget-wise, I’m pretty proud of myself. I told myself from the get-go that this was a hobby that would ultimately fail, so therefore I shouldn’t invest a lot of money in it. Something funny happened, though. By telling myself that I was going to kill all my plants (which is the usual fate for my potted pets) I began reading up and studying how to grow veggies constantly. Side note: Bonnie Plants is a great resource.

I picked up about fifteen various seed packets, a bag of seed starting mix, and a seed starter cell kit like this one.

Like I said, I’d done my research and placed 2-3 seeds in each cell with some soil. But then I’d remembered all the plants I’d inadvertently murdered in the past and shoved about 3 extra seeds in each pod. Low and behold they grew! All of them! But then the reality of my situation sunk in.

solo cups 2

I followed protocol and separated the seedlings into individual “pots”. Enter red solo cups. I drilled a hole in the bottom of each cup for better drainage and transplanted the baby seedlings into the cups where they will surely meet their demise. But, no! They’re still kicking. I would guess I ended up with about 80+ potted seedlings and have only lost four so far. I’ve been giving away plants to anyone who will take them and now have about 40 remaining plants.

solo cup seedlings 3

My goal is to end up with a container garden that will include:

side yard before 4

I’m in the process of preparing the side of my house for my wonderful container garden. We’re also getting ready for Phase 1 of our backyard overhaul project which is exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time (for reasons I’ll share another day). But for now I’m just happy to see that my thumb isn’t as black as it’s been in the past.


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