Growing things in dirt

Since we moved to our condo last summer, I’ve been thinking about how to grow plants in the tiny outdoor space we have. We have what the realtor called a “sweetheart deck” that wraps around the corner of the space and is the width of a hallway–no adirondack chairs for us. We also have what is effectively a two story mudroom with windows on the south and east sides that gets tons of light and heat in the spring and summer. So I’m going with window boxes! In theory I have space for like 12 of them if I went all out. But since I’ve never grown anything before (I’m not counting that cactus I killed in college), I figured I’d start slow with 2 and see how it goes.

This is obviously a change in direction from the Whole 30 blog but nobody reads this anyway and I definitely need to document what happens for troubleshooting purposes. So until the fall, this is going to be gardening 101 for me. I mentioned to a friend who gardens that I was going to the garden store to by dirt, and she responded, “…we call that soil.” So I’m a newbie for sure.

Here’s what I’m starting with: basil, chives, lavender, lettuce, sage and thyme. I also got seeds for parsley and dill but those had special instructions so I didn’t plant them today. And I forgot to get mint which I definitely want.

# of pots seeds per pot Expected Germination Date Notes/Weird things Thinning



April 21 – April 26 Easy (but recommended to plant outside, whoops) When 2” tall, thin to 1 every 10”



April 26 – May 1 Germinates in the dark (?!) Not necessary



May 7 – May 21 Keep in the fridge for 3 weeks When 1” tall, thin to 1 every 15” – 18”



April 21 – April 26 Sounds finicky. It might be too hot on the back porch When 1/2” tall, thin to 1 every 6”



April 21 – May 1 Can be kept in a pot over the winter… we’ll see how it does outside When 2″ tall, thin to 1 every 12” – 18”



April 26 – May 1 Challenging to start from seed When 1″ tall, thin to 1 every 10”


There are my beautiful cups of dirt. Wish me luck!


3 thoughts on “Growing things in dirt

  1. Lettuce just needs cool temps; Dad’s putting plants in right now. Germinating in the dark is easy – anything in the “soil” is in the dark. Don’t buy mint – it’s really invasive, so anyone who has any wants to give some away.

    Also, backyard growers has a storefront on Main Street that sells seedlings; it’s where we got lettuces and Brussels sprouts this week.


    1. Lol of course it’s dark under the soil – 1. Why didn’t I think of that? And 2. Why did it say that as a special instruction just for the chives??

      Got any mint you want to share with me? 😉


  2. How about parsley?

    Sorry, but I have no mint, but I’ll ask around.

    I’ll look into chives. Did it say dark was needed to germinate? Some seeds get down right on top of the soul, not buried, but I’ll look.

    And I forgot… Good luck!!!!


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