I kill plants. To anyone who has been reading this blog for a while, this is old news. I covet them in friends’ houses, where they sit all well-nurished and satisfied, happily filtering the CO2 out of the air and replacing it with delicious O2. Not so much in my house. The last plant to stay alive for any amount of time in my care was a group of three paperwhites I was given as a housewarming present in February of ’08. They lasted until they grew too tall for the container they were in and started drooping, after which I threw them out in the yard for the dogs to chew on and used the container to hold toothpicks and my cool salt’n’pepper shakers.
Somewhere between then and now, I’ve decided to grow some vegetables. I’ve got a little bit of free time on my hands, so I went to the grown-up’s toy store that is the Home Depot and picked up a single roma tomato plant, some potting soil, and a watering can. After reading this Instructable, I fashioned a hanging planter out of an empty Simply Limeade bottle and hung that son of a gun out on my front porch, visions of fresh tomatoes and homemade salsa dancing in my head.
Encouraged by the fact that my baby tomato plant hadn’t perished immediately, two days later I was back at the Depot (as those of us in the know call it) picking up a couple of zucchini and bell pepper plants. Look out, world, Bad Mutha Fudruckin’ Farms is open for business!
But now, sadly, I think my tomato plant is dying. It hasn’t put out any new leaves, and the existing ones are looking pretty burnt. It couldn’t possibly have been my less-than-delicate handling of it’s roots during the transplanting process, could it? Let’s all agree to blame it on some limeade that must have escaped my hap-hazard rinsing job.
My zucchini and peppers, on the other hand, are growing like mutha fudruckin’ gang busters. I honestly feel like I can see them growing if I watch long and closely enough. My friend Craig is a strong advocate of talking to plants (and has some pretty incredible specimens to back up this theory), so I’ve been trying to be as encouraging to the plants as possible without looking like a complete lunatic in front of my neighbors swigging 40s of Steel Reserve on their front porch. Everything I say, though, comes out sounding pretty lame.
“Wow, zucchini, you’re really putting out some leaves, huh? Well, keep up the good work.”
“Dang, pepper! 2 new leaves? Somebody is an overachiever!”
Poor tomato, though, all I can say is, “Oh, little tomato, you’re not doing so well, are you?” But then I feel bad because they are all pretty close and the poor little tomato surely heard the praise I’m heaping on the others. Maybe he needs to be seperated from his thriving cousins and put in the back yard, where he can feel superior. Or at least adequate.
Or maybe I’ll toss him to the dogs as a chew toy and head back to the Depot.