I want to prove something to myself this year. I’ve always thought I have no talent when it comes to plants. After intensive consultation with passionate gardeners, this is over. According to the experts, failures are part of the business. This year, I am starting to grow flowers, herbs and vegetables in abundance. Either it works and I can harvest like crazy or I was filthy and had a lot of fun.
We laid the foundation a few weeks ago and built our first raised bed (pictures and instructions of the construction are coming soon). Since then I am quite jittery. I constantly run in nurseries, borrow books on vegetable, fruit and flower cultivation from the library and research on the Internet. I would like to throw all my seeds immediately into the beds and shout at them: GROW!
Unfortunately I am well aware that every plant has its time to grow. And most of them prefer warmth and sunlight, both scarce good in the middle of winter. But do you also know this irrational excitement with something new that provokes an incredible energy boost? I really like it, it’s like being a again five-year-old sitting in the car and constantly asking her parents: When are we finally there?
In order to make the most of my energy and to channel my drive, I’ve decided for a small experiment that is possible although it is mid-winter: grow herbal dwarfs.
Certain herbs can easily be grown without great cost and effort. My decision is on rosemary and thyme. You can easily try the experiment by yourself. You need just a few things:
- egg carton
- potting soil
- rooting powder (optional)
- spray bottle
Separate the lid from the egg box and put it under the base. Fill the cultivation soil in the holes. I’ve made my own mixture of two parts of potting soil, a part of sand and a part of perlite. I’ve mixed in sand because herbs prefer a barren soil. The perlite helps to store water, which is important for young rootless plants. The composition I have considered myself and it is a part of the experiment. Until now the herbal dwarfs feel very comfortable.
Once you have filled the egg box, take a sharp pair of scissors and cut approximately 8 – 10 cm / 3” – 4” long tips of the herbs of your choice. If buds are present, remove them carefully. The cuttings require all energy to grow roots, thus buds are hindering. Remove the bottom leaves. I leave them with only 3 to 5 pairs of leaves. Again, the fewer leaves are present, the more strength can be put into the formation of roots.
As an initial help you can put the fresh cuttings in rooting powder. This is not a must, but it accelerates the growth. Subsequently, an herbal dwarf comes into each hole of the egg box. Water the dwarfs carefully.
Keep the soil moist but not wet for the next weeks. I take a spray bottle to spray the small plants very generous in the morning and in the evening. Place the carton in a warm, bright place without direct sunlight. It is best to put them somewhere you often are. This way you don’t forget the watering and can quickly intervene when sloping branches appear.
After a few weeks the dwarf roots have formed and the dwarfs can move into a larger pot of their own. My plan is to put the herbs outside when the danger of frost is gone. Fortunately, we live in one of the southern states, so we can start to put plants outside in early April. In Germany you might have to wait a bit longer, but then you can also populate flower pots, create bed borders with herbal rows and much more.
I am really curious to see what successes I’ll celebrate this year. I’m just sure about that: you need to work hard for a green thumb. And the path leads over dirty nails, earth on your overall and a stoop, thanks to full watering cans.