Novel Research: AeroGarden Update

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Sad news.

The petunias are now deceased. Despite their initial good health, they were not immune to the evil green slime, and like the twinkle phlox and stock before them, finally succumbed. Below, the beginnings of their death throes.

The poor things turned yellow and withered away. And the green slime consumed their remains.

A pox upon the slime!

I have now replaced the petunias with brachycome, which shouldn’t sprout for a few days.

I have an eagle eye out for any hint of slime.

In happier news, the basil I planted in place of the stock is growing like crazy. Week One:

Week Two:

Beautiful, isn’t it? I’ve already had to take the little cover off because the plants were too big for it. Yay!

I also replaced the twinkle phlox with chives, but they haven’t decided to do anything yet.

But I’m hopeful. No slime so far.

This little research project has been very useful. The evil green slime that has eaten my plants will probably find its way into my novel somewhere. I never would have thought of evil green slime without this foray into gardening. And I’ve discovered I like to grow things, even if I haven’t been especially successful yet.  I’m actually growing attached to my little plants. I will overcome this black thumb!

Novel Research: AeroGarden Update

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The petunias have sprouted!

See? Adorable!

Unfortunately, the stock and twinkle phlox are facing an untimely disposal in my trashcan. They are both covered in a nasty green slime and bits of hairy mold. I’ve done all I can for them (which was nothing), and now it’s time to admit defeat. Oh well. The green slime does not photograph well, but you can definitely see that there are no sprouts whatsoever.

They will be replaced with chives and basil. Or calendula and brachycome. I haven’t decided yet. Chives would be nice to have around because I like to put them on baked potatoes. I know basil is really easy to grow. But the calendula and brachycome would look awfully pretty in my tiny kitchen. I’m torn.

Any thoughts on my flowers vs. herbs conundrum would be appreciated.

Novel Research: AeroGarden

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Remember my soy milk adventure? I have now embarked on a new research adventure.

NASA has already been working on ways to grow food in zero-G for the long trip to Mars. One of their projects involves an inflatable frame for growing food aeroponically. I have have been using aeroponics extensively in my novel. Growing a plant aeroponically means there is no dirt involved. The plant roots are misted with water and nutrients instead. I’ve read enough on the subject to think I could try it myself.

Well, it just happens that my fabulous mother bought me a white 3-pod AeroGarden for Christmas, specifically for my Mars research. Ta-da!

AeroGarden uses technology closely related to aeroponics (it’s more hydroponic. Ask Google about the difference if you’re curious). You fill the base with water, add a nutrient tab, and then “plant” pods in the holes. As they grow, the plants put down roots directly into the water instead of dirt. The garden actually reminds you to refill the water or add nutrients, and the light comes on automatically. Sounds idiot-proof which is good: I have a notorious black thumb. I just set up my first pods on Wednesday, and I’ll be tracking their progress with photos. Here’s what I’m starting with:

I’ve “planted” Twinkle Flox, Mini Pink Petunias, and Stock. I haven’t a clue what those are, but the pictures on the pods are pretty.

As you can sort of see, it’s all pink and purple flowers. The garden also came with herb pods, but flowers are easier. I doubt a black thumb disappears overnight, so I’m not pushing my luck. In any case, this should prove useful for my novel. Hands on experiments motivate me to write more, especially when the results make my kitchen pretty. Wish my little seedlings luck!