Last week, Spring Creek Senior Partners’ (SCSP) Indoor Gardening Club was excited to see roots slowly start to sprout from their herbs. In a few weeks, they will be able to transfer their herb cuttings into a small pot filled with nutritious soil. In preparation for their next lesson in planting, Garden Educator, Jacqui Roytman, showed he group of seniors how to create their own potting soil, which includes moist peat moss, coir, perlite, vermiculite compost and sea kelp (or organic Blood Meal).
“You go by the way it feels and the rich brown color. The texture of the mixture should be loose and well drained so that you still feel the coarseness of the perlite/vermiculite, but at the same time feel the clay-like stickiness of the peat moss,” she said squeezing a handful of potting soil to show how spongy it is.
Roytman also taught the seniors how to make sub-irrigated planters for their herb cuttings. “A self-watering garden, also called sub-irrigated planters, creates capillary action where the water gets soaked in by the plant. The plant’s root comes down, and the water goes up through the roots,” Roytman said.
Since the herb cuttings are not ready to be planted in their sub-irrigated planters, Roytman brought in more daffodil seedlings for the seniors to practice planting. Since they only had one large green plastic pot, Roytman explained to the seniors that unless they place small rocks at the bottom, they should make holes at the bottom of the pot. “A plant in soil should not sit in water. The holes at the bottom of the container will allow it to drain the water out,” Roytman said.
After Roytman punctured holes at the bottom of the pot, she then asked Alice Lacks, SCSP member, to place the soil and four daffodil seedlings into the pot. Lacks is a nurse, so she made sure to treat her beautiful daffodil seedling with tender love and care. “I’ve always been interested in growing my own herbal garden, but I didn’t know how to go about it. I am learning a lot from this class, and I enjoy it very much,” Lack said.
Photos by Amanda Moses