Monday, September 16, 2019

Rookie Gardening : Grow together or wither apart

Since, in the business of those days, I missed labeling everything I planted in June, some of my Student Reward Seeds cups, over the next two weeks, became 'mystery plants.' What's growing here? What survived? I had a list of seeds my students had chosen - they looked at the packets I'd put on screen that day and tell me which one they liked. I became uncertain, however, which seedlings were which type!
I kept it all living, and most of them made it into other pots.
I'd had two plant I thought were Cantaloupe, and a couple of flowers, all growing in this one pot. I transplanted the cantaloupes onto little mounds- the higher one gives the best foliage yield. Anyway, this is about the three plants that remained.
There was one tiny sprout in there, and two big survivors. I realized, in July, I had one flower, for sure. What I didn't realize is how a common weed in my yard looks in its early form. I would get a chance to appreciate the stubborn roots, when given the same potting conditions and care as, say, a 4 o'clock.
When I did realize I had a piece of grass, I began to think of transplanting the 4 o'clock, to represent the student flowers in a long tray I'd bought for that purpose.

Transplant trauma happens during many attempts. I wasn't worried about the grass, but I did take it to the spot where I'd once been growing a single watermelon plant. That was my first pH-tested choice for the patch, by the way, before I took the advice to keep the remaining plants together in their tub, and found a spot even slightly better, with the most hours of direct sun.
I buried the prodigious roots, to see how hearty this grass might be.
The flower, however, of such a fast-growing breed, did not fair so well as its siblings. The ones I'd taken from a root ball, together, and placed in the sunrise-facing garden, shot up, over three feet high! So many flower stems, too, from the stalks- and the other two 4 O'Clocks were also thriving. One had required a stone to buffet its early trunk, when first transplanted; now that was a bit tree-like, sturdy still beside its stone companion.
So, those flowers were all transplanted first from a cup, then to a pot, before going into the ground. This time, however, the work of taking loose the grass root, to free the flower, may have just been too much, from the looks of things.

The lesson on my reflection, of this naive sort of quiet cruelty, is, in the pot, I still had the grass and the flower. Maybe only one was desirable, but taking them apart did neither of them any favors. They grew together. Plants value their lives together. To keep the flower, sometimes you leave the weed.

It reminds me of kinfolk. Ha!

Next: The resourcefully-recycled Jade Brigade. You can start several plants for one price, as you'll see!

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