One of my resolutions after visiting Japan for the second time in 2012 was to grow more plants. In Japan, lots of houses/apartments don't have yards, but people still had potted flowers/vegetables/herbs all over the place, and they were beautiful & I loved walking past them.
I bought a bunch of plants when I came back in July, but most of them have since died.
At the moment I have a fading African violet, an almost!dead but then revived ivy (which looks more like a sickly baby tree at the moment), and a robust spider plant. I got the spider plant as a cutting from one of my friend's spider plants, so I take a lot of pride in that one. It's even spawned a baby spider plant, which I hope to break off and start in its own pot once it gets warmer outside!What I want:
--I'm not so ambitious as to plan to grow all of my own vegetables herbs, or etc. It would be neat to eat things from my own garden, but it's not a necessity. The cost of growing/maintaining plants needn't be less than the money I save by eating food I've grown.
--"Useless" plants that are pleasing to the eye are fine with me, too.
--I'll ignore advice about tomato and pepper plants for now. At the moment, I can't eat them. If it turns out that I can later in the season, I'll buy plants that's already started.
--I would like to try growing some plants from seed. But I recognize that this can be especially frustrating for beginners, so I'm okay with buying some plants that are already started, too.
--Assume that my budget is fairly liberal, but I'm not going drop like, $50 on a single plant (is that possible??). Thus far, I think all plants that I own have cost me less than $5. If I can re-use common household items like food containers, I would like to. But I don't mind buying pots if I need more than the few hand-sized ones I've got.Internet resources I'm planning to start toying with right now:This post about using toilet rolls as seed starters.This PDF of a seed-starting plan so I know when to start growing shit.Specs of my growing environment:
Inside: I have a sliding door/window that floods my apartment with light. I keep my three plants on top of a bookshelf next to the top of the door/window. The floor in front of the door/window is bare. I don't have a shelf or anything to set plants on, at the moment.
When it's not freezing, I like to set the plants outside.
Outside: North-facing balcony, measuring at dimensions forthcoming
[in August, I'll be moving to a different apartment, and the balcony dimensions may increase.]
--The balcony has a guard rail. The balcony also has three wide beams in its "ceiling," supporting the floor of the balcony above me. With effort & assistance, I could probably hang some stuff from these beams.
--Birds like to nest on top of the beams. There's still an empty bird's nest there from last summer.
--The bottom of the balcony has slotted wood planks. There are gaps between each wood slot, & a balcony down below mine. So I have to be careful not to spill dirt/etc. down below! I do live next to a bike path & fields, though, so I could easily plant stuff on a ground/etc.
--I live in Wisconsin, so we're still a ways away from being able to set plants outside. This past Friday, for example, we had a blizzard.Starting questions:
I think that at the moment, most of what I'm looking for is really basic advice, like what types of plants are fun to grow; do you use fertilizer and what kind; is it good to start plants growing inside before I set them outside; advice for frequency of watering, etc. I will take any advice!
ETA: Also desperately seeking advice on how to know when to re-pot plants.