I’m a Succa for Succulents

A couple of years ago, I was at a flea market buying stuff for our upcoming wedding.  However, my purchase wasn’t big enough to use my debit card, so I decided to buy a terrarium.  I was eyeing it but decided against and when my total was not enough, I decided it was a sign, so I bought it.  Previously, we had it filled with candles.

bathroom

I did not particularly like it, so I decided to make it into a terrarium with succulents.  I picked up two succulents from a nursery in town.

Succulents

I let them sit and sit while I waited for the river rocks to go on sale at Hob Lob.  Apparently, the river rocks keep the roots from rotting.  Well, the rocks never went on sale, so I had to go everyday after work and buy one bag at a time with their 40% off coupon.  Yes, I am that cheap frugal.

River Rocks

I used three bags of these 3lb bags of small river rocks from Hob Lob.  Since no one would be able to tell the level of rocks in the center once I covered it with soil, I pushed a majority of the rocks to the outside of the terrarium, so the rock level looked higher than it actual was.  In hind sight, I should have used more rocks.

Terrarium with Rocks

Then, I poured the soil into the terrarium.

Soil

And finally, I planted the succulents.  But before that step, I had a little bit of an accident that we won’t be telling the husband about.  While I was trying to remove the succulent from the pot it was originally planted in, soil spilled EVERY WHERE.

Accident

But back to planting the succulents, here is the final project.

Planting Succulents in a Terrarium

I also got a cactus while I was at the nursery.  We won’t even go into how bad repotting a cactus is…  Let’s just say I had numerous needles in my hand that I kept finding for a couple of days.  Ouch!  But I do love my little cactus.

Cactus

Succulents and cactuses only need watered once every couple of weeks.  However, I am real good at over doing going above and beyond, so the last succulent I had did not live very long because I over watered it.  I am going to try my best to neglect my succulents and cactus and hopefully, they will last longer.

Here are some other gardening posts you can read:  Container Gardening and a Herb Garden.

Do you all have any indoor plants?  Succulents?  Cactuses?  Do you all have any tips for raising succulents and cactuses?  Have you ever tried to replant a cactus?  Did you have needles in your hands for days?

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Rain, Rain, Go Away, So I Can Make My Herb Garden Today

I planned to do this project last week, but we got so much rain last weekend that I could not finish the project.

Here is my inspiration for the project from The Robin’s Nest:

The Robin's Nest

Last week, I started the project by spraying the inside of the terra-cotta pots with Thompson Water Seal for Multipurpose.

herb garden, diy, chalkboard paint

Here is a picture of the pots all laid out after I sprayed them with the water sealer.

herb garden, diy, chalkboard paint

It says to wait 24 hours to apply a second coat, so I figured that was the appropriate amount of time to wait before applying the chalkboard paint.  But by the time 24 hours passed, it was poring down rain, so I had to wait almost a week.

So almost a week later, I used Krylon Chalkboard Spray Paint on the pots.

herb garden, diy, chalkboard paint

I laid them all out on a box, so they were elevated so they could get a more even coat and grass would not get in the way.  *In the picture below, one of the pots already has its first coat.*

herb garden, diy, chalkboard paint

Here is what the pots look after the first coat.

herb garden, diy, chalkboard paint

The can of spray paint said it took two coats before a chalkboard finish is created, so here is the second coat.

herb garden, diy, chalkboard paint

Then, I planted one herb in each pot.

herb garden, diy, basil, thyme

The herbs I chose were basil and thyme because they seem to be the herbs I use the most.  If you need directions on how to plant a flower or herb check out my post on Container Gardening.

The final step, write on my chalkboard pots with chalk and a little accessory!!

chalkboard paint, herb garden, diy

I am a little disappointed with the final product, but I  think a lot of it is due to I am a newbie at spray painting.  From this far away, they do not look too bad, but up close, the paint job is a little uneven.  There were several tips on the can that I should have taken more seriously.

  • Remove all dirt.  I just wiped the inside of the pot I already had, but I did not touch the outside of the pot.  Nor did I touch, the new pot I bought.  Additionally, both of them had stickers on them and I only removed the sticker; I did not take time to remove the sticky left behind.
  • Apply thin coats. I have a hard time remembering that when it comes to paint, less is more.  Puddles and drips are definitely not a good thing when it comes to spray painting and I had some puddles and 1 drip.

I think listening more closely to both of these steps would help make my paint job more even and smooth, so be sure to pay close attention to the directions on the can of spray paint.

And the Budget Breakdown:

  • 1-6″ terra cotta pot-$0, already owned
  • 1-6″ pot-$1.48
  • 1 terra cotta saucer-$1.25
  • 1 saucer-$1.48
  • 1 plant of basil-$4
  • 1 plant of thyme-$4
  • 1 can of Thompson’s Water Sealer for Multi Surface-$5
  • 1 can of Kyron Chalkboard Spray Paint-$4.80, regularly $8 with 40% off coupon

Total:  $22.01

What do you all think?  Do you have any tips for spray painting?  I think I am going to bring these in during the winter and keep them in a window seal.  Do you keep a herb garden all year round?  I have never done that before, so do you have any tips on how to grow fresh herbs all year long?

Container Gardening

Once spring has sprung, I can’t wait to go outside and plant some pretty flowers.  And although I live in an apartment, it doesn’t mean I can’t create a beautiful garden.  For those of us who live in apartments, container gardening allows us to participate in the spring time ritual of creating a garden.  I have had two other container gardens in the past, so I am by no means a container garden expert, but I am going to give you directions on what has worked for me in the past.

Here are the flowers I picked out this year:

container gardening, flowers

The next thing I had to do was drag out all my pots from the past years.

container gardening

This apartment does not have an outside storage closet, so they sat outside all winter.  They were pretty dirty.  If you are in the same boat, I recommend going inside and taking an allergy pill before taking on the next step.  I made the mistake of not taking one before I started this project and almost sneezed my nose off.

So since they stay outside all winter, I had to dust off all the dirt and pollen.  To make the task even more cumbersome, we do not have a faucet on the porch, so I just wiped them down with paper towels.

After cleaning them, it was time to fill them up with dirt…  doesn’t make a lot of sense typing that after I just spent 10 minutes cleaning them.  Haha.  But anyways, I started adding dirt to the pot and filled them up to just past 3/4 full.  Make sure you are using potting soil if you are planting in containers.

container gardening

If I was filling a larger pot, I just dumped the soil in the pot.

container gardening

Then, I dug a hole in the soil where I wanted to plant my flower.

container garden

Then, I got the flower ready to plant.  In order to take it out of its container without harming the plant, I smashed the bottom of the container a bit, which loosened the plant.  Then, I slightly pulled the flower out of the container.  Here is a picture of how it looks once it is removed from the container.

container garden

Then, to help it grow faster, I broke up the roots gently.  And placed it into the hole I dug.

container garden

Then, I filled in any of the hole that was left over and patted soil over the top.

container garden

It took about an hour and a half to finish all my pots, but it was well worth the time.  It has rained a lot since I planted them, so the flowers have really started to bloom.  Here are the pictures of my beautiful container garden:

container garden

Here is my flower-pot with snap dragons and wave petunias:

container garden

The next two pots have snap dragons and impatiens in the rectangular pot and the large, round pot has pansies, wave petunias, snap dragons, and some other pink flower I do not know the name:

container garden

I love these white snap dragons!!

container garden, white snap dragons

Here is a close up of the pink flower that I do not know the name:

container garden

And the last pot:

container garden

And here is the budget breakdown, which I happen to think I got a pretty awesome deal.

  • pots–$0, already owned
  • 4 Wave Petunias–$8, buy 1 at $4 and get 1 free
  • 6 pack of Impatiens–$2
  • 4 pack of Pansies–$2
  • 2 4 packs of Snap Dragons–$4, $2 each
  • 1 flower I am not really sure what it is called–$5
  • 2-1.5cf bags of soil–$2, regularly $6 each, but had a $5 rebate
  • Groupon like deal–$10, pay $10 get $20 worth of flowers

Total–$13

Like I said, I am not an expert at container gardens, I have only had a few container garden.  Here are some more tips from Container Gardening Guru.  What do you all think of my small container garden?  I also planted three strawberry plants, but it is my first time, so I didn’t want to include those since I have no experience there…  Maybe next year.  Do you guys have any tips for my container garden or my strawberry plants?  Have you planted your garden yet this spring?