I suck at gardening, but I love it.

Okay, maybe I’m being harsh on myself.

I’ve been successful at gardening before: 145 organic, heirloom tomato plants, anyone? They came with tons of help, naturally, and thousands of dollars invested in raised beds, tillers, fertilizers, and seeds. What an experience! But that was a long time ago, and those were “outdoor” plants.

tomatoes
Heirloom tomatoes. Yeah, I’m kind of a snob about them.

My plants that I’ve grown inside the houseĀ are another story. They could probably spread some juicy gossip in the gardener tabloids, if they were alive to tell their tales that is. Ha ha. Things always start really well. I’ll garden by the almanac, and the seedlings and I will have some bonding moments. Then they will actually need “stuff” like a new pot, better soil, fertilizer, and regular watering. It’s a sad story shortly after.

I’ve worked out a deal with a few basil plants over the years, but the rest of the crop and I eventually have our differences and part ways. There. That’s a nicer way to say “I kill everything I try to grow”, right?

dirt-money
Yep. This pretty much sums it up.

This year, I had resolved to just use the greenhouse for temporary basil and rosemary keeping. I’d cook with the herbs until gone, and then dispose of the stripped plant for a new one. Except my teenager got the garden bug and started pushing all my seed catalogs in my face.

Damn you, seed catalogs. I see what your plot is, year after year. Look how pretty this one is! Doesn’t this tomato look AMAZING?

So I agreed to let her try some things – with her own allowance, of course. Neither of us have a particularly good track record in that greenhouse, something I was sure to point out as my justification for not bankrolling her seed venture. Then it got me thinking.

Damn! Damn! Damn! The thinking, I mean. Damn the thinking.

Okay, I knew I sucked at keeping up with the plant needs. I admit that’s my problem. As an electronics hobbyist, though, couldn’t I use some sort of sensor-alert setup to help me track that?

greenhouse
Maybe if I had one of these my problems would solve themselves. Either that or plant death on a massive scale.

Eh, that might not work either because there were plenty of times I knew the plants needed stuff, but I was too busy to get to it. There had to be another way. I went to my source of all inspiration: Pinterest.

Hydroponics.

YES. There were plenty of ways to be crafty in setting up the system (yay, creativity!), and it was pretty low key in terms of maintenance. What’s that? Just monitor a bucket of water? I can do that!

So off to Home Depot we went to realize this new little dream of mine. Well actually, I placed an order on Amazon first. Home Depot filled in for the stand and such. I grabbed my resident contractor (husband) to put the wooden pieces together, and voila! It was a pretty setup. Just one problem got me though: the water pump. I need a bigger one. Darn. Damn.

I decided to get the seeds started in the meantime, but that’s a post for another day.

And that’s my garden share for today! Talk to you soon.

– DJ

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