I always used to wonder about people with full gardens on their apartment balconies.
What kind of plants are they caring for?
What do they do with their plants?
What drives them to completely fill their balconies with hanging plants, potted plants, trees, etc?
After taking on gardening recently…I can understand how amazingly satisfying this hobby is. It's been amazing watching my seeds grow. It's also amazing seeing how resilient plants are to grow.
Back in Seattle, I was walking around and checking out some of Target's Dollar Bins. My sister actually mailed me some flower pot kits a few years ago. I had tried planting those, but I'd gone away on holiday and totally forgot about them. I came back and was a bit disappointed because I had big plans for those flowers!
Anyhow, thoughts of growing my own herbs has always been in my head. I have a sizable spice rack already in my kitchen. As I was looking through the stock of herbs and vegetables, I thought I should just chance growing a few when I got back to Hong Kong. There were a dollar each anyhow. Plus, there were loads of seeds, so if anything went wrong, I could start again.
Plenty of sun and a sprits of water was all that my plants needed the first few days.
The kits from Target are actually pretty simple to start off with. You just have to add water to the dehydrated soil. Then place the soil into the pots that the kit came with.
I planted the seeds in their pots and was surprised to see that the seeds were germinating so quickly. The tomatoes and "cilantro" seeds sprouted within two days.
NOTE: I quoted cilantro because it was really basil that had sprouted. I really should have labeled my pots better. In reality, I planted two pots of basil, one pot of parsley, one pot of bell peppers, and one pot of tomatoes.
Encountering problems with newly sprouted plants is inevitable!
Because it is so humid in Hong Kong, my plant pots (the original ones that came in the planting kit) started growing mold on them. I wasn't sure what else to do than to buy ceramic pots and transfer my plants into those bigger pots.
I went down to my local Jusco Living Plaza (also known as the Daiso) and bought a few pots to transfer my plants into.
This week was all about trying new things (Y.O.L.O!)
Because I transferred my plants from their original pots to the new pots too soon, the roots of my plants didn't have enough time to take root. At the beginning of the week, I went back to the Jusco Living Plaza and bought some plant activators.
I had been in love with the gardening section of that store, by the way. I had noticed the plant activators and read up on some other blogs about how they worked. I thought I would just take a chance to see if they would strengthen my wilting plants.
At the end of Week 6, you can see that a lot of my parsley didn't make it. Some plants soaked up the plant activators with in days.
I ended the week with: "Time will only tell…"
My father, who also gardens as a hobby, told me to, "Stop fiddling with your plants and let them take root."
I heeded his advice.
Over the recent few weeks, I've just spritzed them with water and let them sunbathe their days away.
Also, within the past few weeks, more of my bell peppers have started sprouting out, my basil is ever so fragrant, and it is approaching that time when I have to upgrade these guys to bigger pots.
I am not so lucky to have a balcony attached to my apartment, but I do have a nice little nook in the window to place my pots.
My overall thoughts on gardening in a tiny Hong Kong apartment:
1. It's good for the soul
2. It's amazing to see something be cultivated over time
3. I am waiting for the day when I can use some of my basil for a pesto and some of my tomatoes for a pasta dish
4. Gardening is definitely a hobby that I am growing to love
5. I want to expand my repertoire if this herb/vegetable garden turns out to be a success