I love gardening and growing plants. One of the hardest things about moving away was leaving our lovely London garden behind and moving to an apartment with no outdoor space. No more home-grown carrots and courgettes for me!
But we do have two rather sunny windowsills here, which will be great for growing herbs and hopefully some smaller veggies. The trouble is that buying pre-grown herbs is difficult because they almost always come in a plastic pot. I considered buying some seeds and compost but uncertain how successful that would be, considering my previous habit of killing basil and coriander (I suppose I should say cilantro now I'm in the USA)!
So, inspired by my brother Freddy, I decided to experiment with propagation. Otherwise known as playing God and creating life from barely anything. It's pretty miraculous.
About a month ago, I bought some cut, refrigerated rosemary stems (sadly it did have some plastic on it but I couldn't find any in the park/street). I also caved and bought a basil plant, fantasising about growing endless new plants from it and never having to buy basil ever again (we shall see). I prepped both basil and rosemary stems for regrowth.
I could go into detail about how I prepped the stems, but it wouldn't be worth following my instructions and you'll see why soon! Basically I cut off excess leaves and stuck the ends into clean water. I changed the water every day.
Stems prepared and ready to propagate!
Then I waited for about three weeks.
And.... not a lot happened! At least not to those rosemary babies.
I had only prepared three out of the bunch of stems I bought. The rest were sitting in another glass on the same windowsill, I still refreshed their water every day but I hadn't done anything else. Here they are, much bushier due to lack of preparation:
Strangely enough, whilst not much has happened to my prepared rosemary stems the other ones have started to grow little roots! I'm so proud.
And quite confused.
Check these out!
Even my basil seems to be doing... something:
I tried some vegetables too - lettuce, celery and pak choi. I'm very keen on the idea of growing some of my own veggies because buying them here is so expensive compared to back home. So I chopped off the ends, put them in water, and this is what happened! Oh the miracle of life.
Sadly my lettuce dried up and died, I guess I should have put it in soil sooner. Next job is to find some plastic-free compost and pots for all the others before they die!
But how cool is it that they just grow again?!
If anyone has any propagation tips, feel free leave me a comment. You might say I need to put growth hormones on the ends, but you might also guess that these come in plastic bottles. Dilemma.
Oh and side note, I'm also pleased to announce that I found some oregano in a coconut husk fibre 'pot'. It's from our local Park Slope Food Co-op, which is a great place with a review coming soon.