June 07, 2010

Weekend Project: Herbs and Ivy

Traditionally Mike and I try to get one home project done each weekend.  Lately this has consisted primarily of yard work.  Memorial Day weekend we cleaned out the garage (finally!), I planted grass seed in dead places in our yard, and Mike planted hostas.  The goal for this past weekend was to plant indoor herbs and grow some ivy up our fence.

I wouldn't exactly say that I have a green thumb.  I can hardly believe that any of our plants survived 2009 in my incapable hands while Mike was deployed to Iraq.  But miraculously two of them endured.  Granted these varieties are supposedly impossible to kill - but I wouldn't put it past me.  So even though this weekend's project was not difficult - the challenge lies ahead......keep them alive!

Step 1: Trip to Bachmans

We have a chain link fence in a small city lot - which isn't exactly the prettiest thing to look at while grilling out on a Sunday evening.  Installing a wood privacy fence is out of the budget so we thought it would be better to grow vines along the chain link.   We chose an Engelman Ivy because it grows aggressively, it turns a lovely burgundy color in the fall, and it was one of the more affordable options.  We only bought four to start off with.  We want to make sure we can handle it before we invest in doing the whole yard!

Step 2: Select plants
With the Engelman Ivy in hand it was time to select the herbs.  I was bummed to learn that cilantro turns yellow quite quickly.  So I settled for mint, parsley and basil.

Step 3: Play in the dirt

Mulch of choice: Cocoa Shells.  
Mmmmmm....smells like chocolate.

Tools: herbs, work gloves, potting soil and pot(s) 
I was stoked to find this set of pots for the reasonable price of $12.99 at Bachmans.  It saved me a trip to Ikea!

Step 4: Stand back and admire your work

High five from the Ring-dog for a job well done.

Step 5: Use herbs to make celebratory meal of caprese salad and mojitos.  Ok this hasn't happened yet.  So Step 5 at the moment is water plants every day and pray to God that they survive the Lotzers.


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