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Monday, April 15, 2013

Me and my Aerogardens: a love story

I am the proud owner of not one but TWO (2!) Aerogardens. "What in all the five hells is an Aerogarden?" you ask? It is an indoor hydroponic plant grower thing that uses UV lights on a timer and a water pump to grow plants for you if you suck magnificently at growing them yourself in a pot like a normal person. Which I do. Hence the collection of Aerogardens.

I bought myself one for my birthday last October, and swiftly planted a bunch of herbs in it. I checked it constantly to see if the herbs were sprouting, and danced with excitement when they started to grow happy little leaves. You see, I have no green thumb -- I have the black thumb of death. There is no plant that I cannot kill. I once bought a little flowering plant from the grocery store and killed it within days. I even murdered a cactus. I didn't know that was a thing that you could do. But you can. I did it.

The second Aerogarden was a Christmas present from Jesse. I was so happy with how my herbs were coming along that I wanted to grow some nice pretty flowers in the house as well. What could go wrong?

So much. So much could go wrong.

I planted the flower garden in early January. This necessitated the moving of the herb garden from its position of prominence just outside the kitchen to a quiet corner of the dining room. No sooner had we planted the flower garden, though, than we encountered our first problem: the pump that runs the water supply through the thing was LOUD AS SHIT. It runs all the time, and is nearly as noisy as a microwave that is currently heating something. What the hell. The herb garden never had this problem.

So Jesse calls the Aerogarden customer service and they send us a new bottom piece with a new pump. It arrives. We set it up. It is just as loud, except maybe it was louder.

Then, a friend with some knowledge of gardening comes over to our house and, upon inspecting my placement of the various flower seed pods, basically tells me that a mentally retarded blind baboon could have done a better job. I had tall plants growing on top of short plants, bushy plants jammed in next to gentle spirits that wouldn't stand a chance growing in the shadow of their bully neighbors ... so we started moving all the little pods around into a better layout. Even though the plants had already sprouted and had pretty decent roots growing down in the water tank. It was easy enough to move them -- just lift the pods out of their holes like little eyeballs and pull until the dripping eyeball-nerves (the roots) made it all the way out. Then guide the eyeball-nerves into a different hole and carefully slip them all in until you could lock the eyeball pod back into place.

Oh, and then the "lights" button broke.

See, the lights run on a timer -- 16 hours on, 8 hours off. You can set what time you want them to go on and off each day, which is really convenient when the garden is, say, directly behind a television that you like to watch during the evenings. So I tried to set it by holding down the "lights" button until it blinked, but instead it just got stuck in the pushed position and never unpushed, so I can't adjust the light timer. If you're planning on staying at our house and end up sleeping on the couch in the living room, I hope you don't mind a light as bright as THE SUN that stays on until roughly 3AM while a pump as loud as a microwave runs constantly ten feet from your head.

But then the snapdragons started to bloom. Ah, those beautiful snapdragons! I was so happy to see their flash of color. This is why I wanted this thing in the first place! This is what it was all about!


They grew so fast that they choked off all the lavender I was trying to grow. Then they choked off the flowering lavender viola. Then they crowded out the pansies. The only plant strong enough to hold its own against the mighty snapdragons were the two coleus plants growing in the corners. Oh, in case you were planning planting some coleus in your garden, DON'T. They are ugly as all hell and their giant leaves will happily be accessories to the murder of your lavender and pansies.

Also, its hobbies include first-degree murder.

As my frustrations with the flower garden grew, so did my frustrations with my herb garden. You see, bullies were developing over there as well. The globe basil grew into such a mighty bush that the thyme, which had been thriving, finally gave up and died in despair. The genovese basil bravely tried to hold its own, but it grew steadily weaker. The lemon basil and dill, perhaps yearning for a larger life than the one they were currently living, grew desperately upwards and into the UV lightbulbs, where they singed and became useless. I eventually gave up on them and pulled the eyeball-pods out, stuffing them angrily into a trash can because WHY ARE YOU TOO GOOD FOR MY GARDEN, DILL AND LEMON BASIL? WHY THE F**K ARE YOU TOO GOOD FOR MY GARDEN?

I was left with only my globe basil to console me. And it did its best. With no other herbs competing for resources, the globe basil started to grow faster and fuller than an old woman's pubic jungle. I had to trim that beast a minimum of 4 times per week if I wanted to keep it under control. It would drink up the entire volume of the water reservoir in a day or two -- a full gallon of water, down the hatch. I stopped even trimming it carefully, and instead would grab great handfuls of basil and hack at them with a dull pair of scissors, like a maniac giving a haircut to a lunatic.

We ate basil on everything. EVERYTHING. I did not make a single food product that didn't contain at least a little bit of the stuff. Pesto, tomato-pesto, pineapple-basil-salsa, you name it. It was madness.

I was reaching my breaking point. I didn't have the time or the patience to spend ten minutes cutting basil four times a week. I would always do it in the morning before work, and 100% of the time, it would take longer than I thought and I would be running terribly late for work. Every time I refilled that stupid gallon jug to feed the beast, I became angry and resentful. It was time for the globe basil to go.

If the globe basil were human, it would look like this.

So I went to Wal-Mart and bought some little earthenware pots and a big bag of potting soil. And one fine day over Easter weekend, Jesse and I carefully planted both the globe basil and the wheezing, gasping near-corpse of the genovese basil in pots outside.

The genovese basil was dead by the end of the day. And the globe basil? Well, one day it rained and then the wind blew and the stupid giant bush was so top-heavy that it fell over and spilled everywhere. I still haven't cleaned it up, because f**k that f**king globe basil. Let it rot. LET IT ROT.

Meanwhile, back in flower land, the snapdragons got bored after murdering every other flower in the garden, so they started to die as well. So I got mad, unplugged the garden, and stuffed all the plants into a trash bag.


Oh, but if you're looking for a great gift idea, may I recommend the Aerogarden? They're great! I replanted both of mine this weekend and I just can't wait for them to start sprouting!!! I'll be sure to keep you all updated on how they're doing! Oh boy oh boy!

1 comment:

  1. Loved your blog made my day I haven't laughed so hard in a long time