gardening: a failed attempt

As my UK friends here say, I am just gutted over the topic of this post.

You may remember me posting about my parents visiting, and how Dad gave my non-existent balcony garden a jump-start by planting my cherry tomato seeds. He planted six seeds, with the hopes that half of them would germinate and yield some baby tomato plants for me to tend. I quickly followed suit and planted six purple basil seeds, hoping for three winners. Well, that's exactly what we got - a 50% success rate on both. Things were looking good - I started dreaming of tomato and basil salads, and after Valentine's Day, I even had a centerpiece to add to my imaginary dinner table.

I had one casualty on the tomatoes - a towel hanging on the upstairs balcony somehow got unclipped and came pummeling down on one of my fragile seedlings. Not a pretty sight. Something happened to one of the basil plants too; I can't even remember; but the point is I was down to two of each type of plant, which still gave me hopes for a nice margherita pizza.

Dad left me with specific instructions on how and when to transplant my tomato plants. I waited until the seedlings were big enough, and then one evening after work, I added some fresh soil to a large planter, trimmed the extra "branches" off the seedlings, and introduced them to their new home, welcoming them with an extra dose of water. Quick and easy. No problems.

But I didn't stop there. The next evening, I felt extra generous and gave each of my plants (except for my Christmas palm tree) a nice, long swig of liquid Miracle Gro. This Miracle Gro had come into my possession as part of an purchase NS had happened upon which included many planters, potting soil, seeds, a trowel, and a bottle of Miracle Gro. I should have gotten rid of the Miracle Gro months ago when it spilled all over several of my handbags in the process of moving out of the hotel into our condo. But at the time, I figured that what was almost lethal to my leather would still be good to my greens. Wrong.

The next morning, I peeked out the window during breakfast to see a very sorry-looking set of plants. It was like they were struck with the plague!

These were once lovely pink blooms!

Unhappy tomatoes. *sigh*
Actually, the one on the right is still alive, but I'm not holding my breath.
And just when I thought my black thumb trend was reversing.

I don't know if the Miracle Gro was just too overpowering for the young plants or I should have mixed it with the soil prior to planting or what, but my plants were having none of it.

I've since planted four more tomato seeds and four more basil seeds. And, true to form, half of them have sprouted. I'm hoping my non-Miracle Gro strategy will yield better results. (And, to be fair, Dad never mentioned adding chemicals to my poor plants. I'm always better off just following directions.)

In more uplifting garden news, I spotted a cute, little visitor to my garden balcony the other day. He hung out near the terracotta roof for a while, probably eying the green leaves. I told him they had just been fed Miracle Death, and he soon left for greener pastures.