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12 January 2015. Greenery (plant growing afloat)


Unlike others I am not the best at growing things aboard the boat. Let me rephrase that: my plants do survive but tend not to thrive. It is me because there are some wonderfully abundant gardens afloat, even in traveling vessels. So, what is the secret of success?

Jean's garden onboard Lily Maria is doing well. Her tomatoes were green and growing.


After admiring Jean's success, I know there is hope. Perhaps when it is warmer I will have a better showing than at present. Yet I'm having fun and if my results are not spectacular, they are not totally without merit.


I do have scallions aka green onions that continue to provide salad additions.


The scallions grow in a clay pot with some basil that I cannot kill. In cooler weather I bring them into the pilothouse.


On occasion I will pick up a big fat batch of scallions at the grocery store. The larger diameter ones seem to grow better. Then I simply place them in a tall water glass with about 1/4" of water above the base. The roots grow long so I add water daily. Those roots can be used in soups and stews. The flavor is quite strong.

Side Note: In the summer time the water glass won't work. What happens here in the south is that mildew will grown on the stalks. That's why I transfer them to the clay pot for summer.

Simply cut off the tops when needed -- the base will continue to grow.
When it's hot, I can count on 1/4" of growth nearly every day.

Growing Vidalia Onions

As with green onions, the larger Vidalias grow the same way. First you need to get the roots going. That is as simple as placing the bottom of the batch in a water bowl. After a few days the roots will sprout. See photo, below right.



If you are a successful gardener ashore, once afloat you will be great.

One lovely lady, Jean onboard M/V Lily Maria is simply a wonder. Her plants are lush and beautiful. That amazes me, especially when one considers the salty environment we deal with.


On the aft deck, Jean has lots of plants growing.

Inside  the cabin, philodendron thrives. What a nice view for Sam the yellow canary.


Another talented friend I met is Lori. She lives on a Spray replica named Anja.


You met Lori in the (Joshua Slocum's) Spray replica Anja article.


Often we women exchange plants. Lori gifted me with a lemon plant. Okay, I am not certain what it is called in reality but the plant smells like lemons. It is my air-freshener and quite the favorite. Thanks Lori!


Basil does well but none of my other spices have survived. Please note, I am in a boat so the air is salty. When anything lives through my treatment, it is fairly hardy!

Lentil sprouts are also growing aboard Seaweed. I am thrifty and they are tasty plus healthy. Additionally I sprout black eyed peas, but the lentils are my favorite. Black-eyed peas will mildew if it is hot and humid. The article Growing Lentil Sprouts explains my system.

I am certain there are other how to's for lentils. I adapted as there is just me enjoying them. I do not need the quantities that some instructions advocate. Mostly though I grow stuff for the simple pleasure of the results. When stuff dies I toss it and try again. Eventually I hope I will get better results. Already things last longer than originally so some progress is being made.

It is fun to swap plants with new friends afloat. I will be starting a new batch of basil once the weather turns. This cold weather has done zero good for any of my plants. It has been a mite nippy.

If you have been blessed with a green thumb, please share your secrets in the comments section.
What are you growing?

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