One of the things I have been pursuing with little success through my PhD is trying to keep plants alive to their first birthday (or sometimes their half-birthday). I usually do well enough in the cooler months, but with summer comes me traveling, intense heat, and the monsoons that months of progress go kaput. To add insult to injury, strong winds have blown off off a succulent plant from my balcony not once, but TWICE.
At one point, I had given up on becoming a plant parent that I bought a chocolate silicone mold with succulent shapes. If I can’t grow a plant, I’ll make a “plant” out of matcha chocolate. Except I learned that sharp corners in chocolate molds are regions where air bubbles like to form, no matter how many times I tap the mold to push the air bubbles up. Even with chocolate, something I have some level of confidence, I cannot make plants look great! Talk about additional insult to injury.
On one of my shopping trips around the start of quarantine, I noticed that green onions were not as readily available (they are now though!). Luckily for me, I already had a pack of green onions from Trader Joe’s beforehand. They come with their roots attached, which let me to my next thoughts – can I regrow them and if so, is it low enough maintenance for my incompetence? After reading through a few food blogs, I found the simplest way to regrow green onions was to keep the white base part with the roots, put them in a glass of water, and set them by the window for sunlight. So I did that – put them in mason jars on my kitchen windowsill that faces west. I switch the water in the glass daily in the early afternoon, when the sun starts to shine towards the kitchen window.
And you know what? After 4 days of this, the green onions started to grow!!
After consulting with MagAO-X DM whisperer and #1 plant parent, Kyle Van Gorkom, I resolved to try out potting the green onions in soil. I decided to experiment with this by transferring half of the green onions to potted soil outdoors and comparing it with the other half in a mason jar indoors. I would say I was trying to be a scientist, but the reality is that I didn’t want to bother microwaving the soil to kill the gnats.
After 10 days, I compared both green onions and they pretty much grew like weeds! They’re so beautiful! I chopped them off and ate them with cold soba noodles for lunch. I sampled both the green onions from outside and inside and they both pretty much taste the same: oniony.
It’s been 30 days (37 days total) since this green onion experiment began. I’ve gotten 2 harvests from each of the green onion sets. I’ve also extended it to include some leek, which was used when making bone broth. The mason jar set isn’t looking as brilliant as before, so it’s likely time to retire it and bring on a fresh batch from the market. The outdoor plant is starting to wilt a bit, I’m assuming from the weather heating up. When this experiment started, the weather was still in the 70-80F range, but it’s in the high 90’s these days. I had one onion dry up considerably, meaning I need to adjust the watering. I may need to start increasing watering everyday from every other day. I’m also thinking of pulling out a couple dried out onions to transplant the leeks.
To turn full circle on this post, I want to post another achievement: remember the succulent that fell off the balcony back in March? They got re-potted over a month ago when I started the green onion experiment. I’m proud to say that they’re thriving well and have not fallen off the balcony after being transferred to a heavier pot.
SONG OF THE DAY
This post has been brought to you by the color green. Green is roughly in the 500-550 nm wavelength range. Therefore, today’s song is I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) by The Proclaimers: