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lemon trees: a progress report

“Progress report.” Isn’t that a horrible phrase? Just typing it causes a sinister shiver, and brings visions of a beige-walled, fluorescent-lit cubicle farm with a drably-suited man tapping his pencil on his clipboard and wordlessly daring you to even think about attempting any kind of humour or good cheer. The phrase also reminds me of junior high school, which is only less horrifying because it is irrevocably in the past.

I’d look for a better phrase to re-title this blog post with, but nothing comes to mind, plus I’ve become rather fond of that opening paragraph above, which wouldn’t make much sense if the post’s title didn’t use the phrase “progress report.” Which I promise not to use again for the rest of this post. Or hopefully ever.

In any case, you may recall the recent-ish post where I talked about planting lemon seeds and somehow getting them to sprout, and then somehow managing not to kill said sprouts. Miracles abounding, given my total lack of gardening knowledge.

After the success of shoving lemon seeds into ice cream tubs of non-specific dirt and substituting our Apple Time Machine for a greenhouse –  all of which yielded some lovely little green sprouts and made me feel like Persephone, goddess of spring – I started thinking about the matter of transplanting. As with all my “gardening,” my first tactic was to ponder these matters while utterly failing to take any action on them or even ask the many plant-growing experts available to me for advice.

I did at least remember to water the sprouts occasionally, and they continued growing.

Eventually I went to the garden store and bought three adorable little blue pots to transplant the sprouts into. Being an artsy, craftsy, non-gardening type, I picked out the pots based purely on aesthetics. And then, when I finally remembered to consult people who actually know about flora, I learned that lemon trees have taproots, which means they need taller pots. So back I went to buy taller pots.

Once I had the proper type of pots, I gently pushed the dirt-encased plants out of their ice cream tubs and stuck them into the new, taller containers. I probably should have gotten more pots, but for now a couple of the future lemon trees are simply having to share. No doubt this will give them a reason to be angry with me later on in life and demand that I pay for their therapy. I’m creating more than a garden here – I’m building a family. Of traumatized lemon trees.

Of course I forgot to take pictures of the actual re-potting process. Plus I had dirt all over my hands. It was pretty straightforward though:
  • Put dirt in new pot, leaving well in middle.
  • Squeeze dirt and plants gently out of old pot.
  • Remember (too late) to put down plastic so that excess dirt doesn’t fall through the patio cracks onto our downstairs neighbour’s drying laundry. Sorry downstairs neighbour. Though I’d probably try harder to remember the plastic sheeting if you’d quit sending the smell of your chainsmoking up through our windows, just sayin. But I honestly did feel bad about the dirt that fell down onto your tighty whities.)
  • Place plant (keeping the roots as dirt-encrusted as possible) into the well in the middle of the new pot.
  • Fill remaining space with dirt, pat down gently, put on windowsill and water.
  • Sigh at the mess of dirt leftovers on the patio, which I can’t sweep up because I’d knock even more of it onto the downstairs neighbour’s laundry.
  • Curse the insufficiently forward-thinking people who designed stacked patios with cracks between in the floorboards.
  • Go on Craigslist to look for the apartment of my dreams, which has a separate entrance, pet-friendly attitude, dishwasher, west-facing windows and no freaking cracks in the patio floor.
  • Realize that all such apartments are out of my price-range, given the temporary nature of my wonderfully salaried job.
  • Go online to look for permanent job opportunities.
  • Remember how much job hunting sucks, get distracted by half-finished crafting project sitting next to computer on desk, get absorbed in crafting.
And now you see how my life goes on a pretty much daily basis, or at least whenever I attempt to spend time doing anything responsible and not craft-related.

Anway, here are the repotted plants. They’re doing well, except for the one that died (even before I had a chance to repot it).

And the one that died, poor wee thing (the picture was taken several days after it pretty much died – I didn’t let it get that dried out when it was still living):

But no time to mourn, it’s being replaced already. As I mentioned in the original post, I got the idea for all this from my boyfriend’s sister, and she got the idea from a friend of hers who would just shove the seeds into the dirt of whatever other potted plant was already in the house, on the basis that some of them would probably sprout. After all this work of properly planting seeds in little ice cream tubs, I got lazy (and ran out of ice cream tubs) and figured I’d just start shoving seeds in around the edges of our other potted plants now and then. And one of them has sprouted!

Actually, this one might be an apple sprout. I planted apple and lemon seeds – don’t remember which ones I put where. Guess we’ll see how it turns out when it grows up.

But just in case you think I’m actually better at this gardening thing than I’m letting on, I admit to completely and utterly failing to grow my own celery, which is supposed to be dead easy. I followed the wonderfully simple method outlined here (with pretty pictures). It did fine in the water, and was ok for a few weeks in the dirt, but it never grew much and then it died. I think it wasn’t planted deep enough in the dirt. I’ve started again with another celery stalk, and we’ll see how that one goes.

I’m also trying to figure out which grocery store might be selling pomegranates right now, because I hear they make really nice houseplants too, plus then I’ll totally feel like Persephone. Except minus all the living-in-Hades stuff. Just the good, earth-goddess bits of being Persephone.


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  1. sarah springer

     /  May 19, 2020

    that was a good read , I enjoyed the humor lol any updates on the lemon tree

  2. Sillyhp

     /  June 25, 2020

    Excellent, humorous read…and got info on planting seeds.

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  1. (future) lemon trees! | Tally's Treasury

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