Ready, Set, Grow!

One really can’t live in Oregon and not want to grow something (hair, a beard, flowers, plants). I’ve had the itch since we got here to do some container gardening. Last year we were busy getting settled and missed the start of the growing season, but this year I was ready to give it a go.

The trouble is, I have a black thumb when it comes to gardening. I used to joke, “All I have to do is look at plants, and they die,” which was only half a joke. The only plant I’ve been able to nurture for any length of time was a little cactus in a tiny pot, and it finally gave up trying to survive.

But, given the rich volcanic soil and superb climate for all growing things here, I’m willing to give it another try. I’m hoping the way things seem to just burst forth and grow here will work for me, too.

I’ve studied the OSU Extension Service website and my daughter and I made our plans. We’re going to plant lettuce, bell pepper, fingerling carrots, radishes, parsley, thyme, dill and basil. And if even one of these actually grows and is harvestable, we’ll consider it a successful first effort.


Yesterday while heading out to run errands, we passed what appeared to be a yard sale with lots of planters and pots in the driveway. We pulled over and stopped to take a look. Turns out the lady there was giving away gardening supplies for free, as she had inherited a lot of them from a relative and already had plenty of her own. We gratefully took an assortment of pots in various sizes, a planter box and a nice little bench that will help provide good drainage.


We need soil. I read that potting soil is too lightweight for vegetables, and regular garden soil itself is too heavy, that we need a 50/50 mix. So we’ll get potting soil to mix this week. Some of the seeds will have to be started inside, to be moved out to the deck later.

Now, I know several of my online friends are very good gardeners and will likely look at this puny effort and laugh, but hey, we all had to start somewhere. If we fail this year, we’ll look at what we did wrong and try again next year. Eventually we’ll be able to do it. And who knows, we may even surprise ourselves!

4 thoughts on “Ready, Set, Grow!

  1. I started my seeds indoors with Miracle-Gro Garden Soil. It’s a pretty good mix of stuff and has a little plant food to boot. I think you’ve got the right attitude, realistic expectations (and what’s wrong with being surprised if everything turns out well?) and just the right stuff to get started. It really is fun to make your first salad from just stuff that you grew yourself. Aren’t you going to try even one tomato plant?

    • Oh, I’m tempted to try tomatoes, of course. I’ve heard tomatoes are hard to grow here (I do miss the big beefsteak tomatoes in Florida!), but I might try a smaller variety (like cherry or grape tomatoes, which are supposed to do well). We’ll see. Thanks for your encouragement, and suggestions!

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