Bok Choy · Mr. Popeye · Vegetables

Two firsts: Sprouted seeds and dead plant

Very mixed feelings today. Just celebrated the one-week anniversary of my balcony farm yesterday, and was faced with the joy and sorrow of nature today.

The first thing I do every morning is visit my plant friends. Today I was excited to find that in just 3 days, some of the bok choy 青江菜 seeds have sprouted! This is major progress, and suddenly all the unknown seemed less scary. My first seed planting!

Photo Mar 13, 3 24 24 PM

Photo Mar 13, 3 23 57 PM

But the blissfulness only remained for one minute. I was cooing with delight to my dear new friends when I noticed something wasn’t quite right with one of the two pots of spinach/Mr. Popeye plants.The one on the left looks really sad, droopy and yellow.

Photo Mar 13, 9 10 11 AM

I wasn’t ready to deal with my first dead plant. I kept thinking: what did I do wrong?

  1. Was the soil kept too moist?
  2. I trimmed out some of the stalks the day before, as some of them were starting to yellow. Did I accidentally hurt it while trimming?
  3. Is the drainage not enough?
  4. Too much sun? Too little sun?

I was thinking through all these factors, and it all came to the conclusion that no matter what, the plant was probably beyond saving….

It was time to be a big girl, and doing something was better than nothing. I dug out the plant, did some “operation” and found that the part connecting the stems to roots were soggy, and in the process of rotting.

Photo Mar 13, 11 11 01 AM (1)

With this observation, I suspect it’s mainly between factors no. 1 (soil too moist) and no. 3 (lacking in drainage). Maybe it’s a blessing in disguise for it’s neighbor? Better one survives then all dead… right?

I repotted the remaining plant, added additional drainage holes to the bottom of its container, and used a soil mix with better air flow. Here’s the now lonely boy, but looking to be in much better condition.

Photo Mar 13, 3 34 11 PM

His brothers seems to be fine too:

Photo Mar 13, 9 10 15 AM

I tell myself I should be happy. I tried but it died. But that’s okay, I’ll learn from it, and I’ll be stronger because of it.

As American poet May Sarton said,

Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace.

Maybe I will find grace in gardening after all.

The journey of Mr. Popeye

The journey of Ms. Bok Choy

The Vege Girl Project: Day 9

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