Green Things (and winners!)

by Kristen on April 19, 2013 · 16 comments

in Gardening


First, congrats to Stacy D., commenter #3, and winner of the Shabby Apple $50 giveaway. It’s funny…just recently I was thinking about how doesn’t often seem to pick low-numbered entries, and then it goes and proves me wrong by choosing commenter #3!

By the way, it was fun to read your comments on that giveaway…I clicked on over to Shabby Apple a bunch that day to look up the dresses and skirts you guys chose as your favorites. Isn’t it addicting to look at their site??

Second, congrats to Barbara M. and Rafaella, Judith D (since Rafaella lives in Italy!) winners of the Digiorno pizzeria! pizzas. You’ve been emailed, so email me back, and we’ll get your two free pizza coupons right out to you.

Green Things

I’m no expert gardener, but even a black thumb like myself can manage to grow a few things.

Remember my $0.50 violas from Aldi last fall?

Well, they’ve been hanging off my deck, dead, all winter, but look what’s happened recently!


They haven’t quite returned to their full glory, but there are a bunch of teeny new plants popping up in the pot, so I think they’re going to fill the hanging pot before long.


There’s a renegade something-or-other growing in the pot next to these flowers and I’m very curious to see if it’s a weed or not.


In another pot on my deck, I’ve got some green onions growing. They’re from the grocery store, but I planted them after I brought them home, since they had roots.

These have already been clipped several times, but they seem to have at least one more round of growing left in them (after being clipped a number of times, they generally die off.)

Also sprouting in the pot: marigolds from seeds I saved from last year’s flowers. I love how easy marigolds are.


Basil is another idiot-proof plant to grow. These are my leetle baby seedlings, which really can’t grow fast enough for my taste.

I keep checking every day to see if a new set of leaves has started growing yet.


I bought a bag of tulip bulbs from Aldi last fall and let them sit on a shelf inside all winter long.

Total tulip fail.

So, I decided to stick them in the ground this spring and see what happened. I thought maybe it was too late, but they’re popping up now!


Why the glass? Well, I have a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad problem with voles here at my house. They eat almost everything that I plant directly in the ground, which is why pots are my dear friends.

I’d read that if you put crushed glass around the base of something you plant, though, that voles will leave it alone because they won’t like how the glass feels. The internets aren’t unanimously sure that this is effective, but I figured it was worth a shot. So, I grabbed some glass from the recycling bin, smashed it, and put it in the ground with the tulip bulbs.

And if they come up again next spring, I’ll count this method effective.

(To clarify, the glass goes underground, by the bulb. The piece of glass in the picture just happened to avoid being buried.)

Speaking of voles…this hosta has bravely poked its head up. I give it less than two weeks, since voles adore hosta and I haven’t successfully grown any outside of pots.


I filled in some bare spots in the lawn with grass seed recently.


I always have such little faith in grass seed. I spread it, cover it, water it, and have no confidence that it will ever come up.

It does sit there, looking ever so unproductive for what seems like forever.


And then one day, poof! There are all these grasslings making their way up out of the ground.


I love it.


Joshua’s 365 post: I love weird pictures.

Leave a Comment

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Raffaella April 19, 2013 at 8:19 am

As I wrote in my reply to you, I actually left my comment for fun (it was about the sentence in pseudo-Italian), I couldn’t use that coupon in my country… sorry! :D You can pick up someone else. (And thanks anyway.)
If only I had won the other giveaway!


2 Tammy April 19, 2013 at 8:49 am

That’s interesting about the glass. We have voles too and those things are so annoying to me! I hate what they do to our yard and flower beds. We’re growing a garden this year and I certainly hope they don’t eat all our roots. :/


3 Economies of Kale April 19, 2013 at 8:58 am

It looks like spring is well and truly in the air :) My garden is sadly not as pretty – it survived moving house, but just about everything died when we had a few weeks of torrential rain. I think the pots got waterlogged and the roots rotted.

So I’m starting a lot of plants again – I have some kale and radish seedlings and some basil seeds to plant. I’m lucky that I live somewhere where gardening is possible all year round (even for things like tomatoes).


4 David April 19, 2013 at 9:18 am

Voles are the worst pest in a garden, and almost impossible to catch. A few years ago at another house I grew the biggest and best carrots and parsnips ever. One day I was looking at them and some of the green tops looked wilted. When I pulled on one of the tops, there was just a top, the voles had eaten all of the carrots and parsnips completely. The only thing left was the tops and the outer shell or skin, they had completely eaten the inside! I put 5 gallon buckets upside down with pieces of fruit and carrot in mousetraps. (Upside down so that cats or other animals would not get hurt) but after 2 or 3 weeks of trying I got only one vole. They destroyed my garden that year and several years after. Then they disappeared.


5 Mona April 19, 2013 at 9:35 am

Are voles similar to moles? I’ve never heard of them but it’s a shame you can’t grow things outside. On a positive note, this post just reminded me how spring is here and that just makes me so happy!


6 ks April 19, 2013 at 9:42 am

Please do tell me your grass seed methods. What do you cover them with? And how often do you water? I’m a grass seed failure…but I have several bare spots I should attend to.


7 Lili@creativesavv April 19, 2013 at 9:50 am

I think growing in pots is wonderful, too. And you can even grow tulip bulbs in a terra cotta pot, sunk in the ground, most of the way. Just use a large and deep enough pot. I grow all my different mints in pots sunk in the ground. It prevents them from spreading underground.


8 The Norwegian Girl April 19, 2013 at 10:06 am

I should definitely try to grow some basil as it`s my favourite herb and use it in most of my cooking.


9 Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl April 19, 2013 at 11:26 am

My dad does the glass trick in his garden, but he also finds that egg shells work great. Lots of rodents and insects won’t crawl over egg shells.

Excited to watch the progress of your green garden. :)


10 Elizabeth L April 19, 2013 at 12:45 pm

I know pets really aren’t your thing, but you really need a cat. A spayed, fairly young (6 months to a few years old), mildly hungry, female cat. You can get one from the humane society, but if you know anyone who has barn or farm cats, one of those would be the most efficient. Cats are the absolute best and safest way to get rid of ground pests. My parents have serious vole problems and have always had an outdoor cat that lives in their basement. They keep a litter box and a water bowl for her, and only feed her once a day in the spring/summer. I’ve seen their cats catch 3 and 4 critters a day. I’m sure you could even borrow a cat from someone for a few weeks to help with your problem.


11 Samantha April 19, 2013 at 3:51 pm

I love it! Spring is so full of surprises! I don’t know what a vole is but I certainly don’t like how glass feels so I imagine anything else would either :/


12 Lea April 19, 2013 at 10:33 pm

I heavily sprinkle cayenne pepper (which I buy in industrial-sized containers) around seedlings that the voles go after. You need to reapply every couple of days and after rain, but for a small garden it’s not too bad. It seems to keep the voles away. It also seems to work for rabbits–if you happen to have that problem too.


13 Nancy E April 19, 2013 at 11:24 pm

Definitely a weed in that pot with your violas! ;)


14 Susan April 20, 2013 at 7:38 pm

It’s nice of you to share your life with others. Every little article, or piece of advice, you share, is something others can feel a connection with. Even if its strange, weird, or ridculous we all can be a part of it. Most people don’t want to take the time or effort to involve others, and so I thank you for doing that. Your recipes are fun and interesting. Plans and ideas always find someone who is looking for that information. Thanks


15 Live and Learn-Toss and Turn April 21, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Maybe I should try to grow more things in pots because the critters are abundant around here including voles. However, the deer don’t mind eating out of pots. :(


16 Erica April 25, 2013 at 2:15 am

Your plant growing beside your violas looks like a milkweed to me :) Monarch Butterflies like them here in OK.


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