Monday, April 28, 2014

Somebody Save My Basil . . I'm a Plant Murderer!

♥ My Sweet Basil ♥

It's a very good thing there is no law against killing plants or I would ber serving several life sentences. It's not that I want to kill them, but I kill them with good intentions. I do read all the instructions on how to care for them and try my best to follow through, but it always ends the same way . . . dead plants.

I have never been able to keep a plant a live for as long as I can remember. My failed attempts over recent years have been French lavender plants. I absolutely love the smell of French lavender and so my brother surprised me (a couple of different times) with a beautiful plant he found at a local nursery. I did my homework and found out all I needed to know. However, in due time they withered away leaving me sad and disappointed. I feel I have a "black thumb." It's a shame though, because my father was a farmer in Italy and everything he touched grew like Jack's beanstalk. Obviously I didn't inherit any talent from him in this department.

I think my main problem---no, I know my main problem is overwatering my plants. Hell, I even killed a couple of cactus plants, somrthing that I thought was impossible. I have a black thumb. Nothing in the plant kingdom is safe if I am responsible for it. Which is why I am a little worried now.

For the past couple of years I have wanted to get myself a nice basil plant. I love basil in my sauce and I always pay too much money at the vegetable store for a couple of sprigs. In any case, whenever I thought about it it was already too late in the season to find a plant. But this year I spotted one at Home Depot and in fact bought two of them, figuring if I killed one the other might survive. I've had them just a week and they were doing well. This morning, as I was preparing breakfast, I gave them each just a little water. The top of the soil felt dry. Then I went about my business until I heard my husband say, "Something is happening here." I went over to the counter and there was a nice big running puddle of black water on the counter running from one of the pots. Of course it managed to hit my pad filled with "to do" lists and soaked all the pages. I filled several paper towels . . . using Bounty, the quicker, picker-upper, and then tipped them to the side as more and more water spilled out. I don't know how many paper towels I filled, but I swear, as God is my witness, I did not add that much water to these plants. Anyway, I got out all I could and a roll of paper towels later, maybe they will be dry enough to survive.

Two of the 9 planters that will go up on the wall

Now I also bought 18 thriving hosta plants for the front of the house. Friends tell me they are virtually impossible to kill. That remains to be seen. As much as I admited my guilty past crimes, they don't see the ruthless plant murderer in me. I didn't tell them I even killed cacti, who would believe it? I plan to leave the hostas to the care of Mother Nature. If it rains they will get fed and if not I will not interfere unless they look wilted. I also have two azaleas out there now too. They are a nice size and healthy looking right now. I got Miracle grow potting soil because it will take a miracle to keep them alive as long as I am around.

The doomed Azaleas

If my basil survives I am going to freeze some leaves a few at a time. My mother used to wash them, dry them and package them in plastic wrap by portions. Then, when she made sauce she would add a package and they were as good as fresh. Come to think of it,  I better start taking off a few leaves now, while they are beautiful and fragrant, and freeze them before I have nothing at all to show for all my well intentioned ways. It's the curse of the "black thumb" that keeps me for having anything that grows in dirt. By the way, does anyone know how I should pick off leaves without killing them?

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