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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Tuesday, March 5

Gapers Block

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Andrew Huff / June 24, 2010 11:57 PM

We asked this one long ago; chances are the answer has changed.

I wouldn't say I've got a green thumb, but I'm reasonably successful with plants. The backyard garden is doing pretty well -- tomatoes and herbs usually do great, but I always fail with peppers. The beans we planted seem to be thriving this year, too.

On the other hand, we went from three pots overflowing with aloe plants to just one, because our insane kitten, Rocky, decided the two taller pots were best for sitting on.

Emily / June 25, 2010 9:23 AM

I have always had more of a brown thumb, but this year (new house/yard) seems to be going well--Hostas, daylilies, clematis, coral bells. Sadly, the tree that covers my entire yard may be dying, but I can safely say it is not my fault!

On the other hand, I already killed all my veg seedlings, so that's par for the course. Thank heavens for Farmer's Markets!

Carrie / June 25, 2010 10:44 AM

I do! I was the only one in HS to successfully grow tomato and green pepper plants in class and take them home... and get lots of food from them.

This year, I've got cukes, tomatoes and bell peppers. They're all in pots, so I have to keep rescuing them from the rain and wind. I hope they appreciate my effort. Oh and basil. the basil is out of control.

Last year I did Japanese eggplant and it was kind of awesome... until the squirrels found it at the end of the year. They'd break off a baby eggplant, dig a hole in another pot, take a nibble of the eggplant, realize it's not what they thought it was and toss it in the hole and halfway bury it. My word, they could've at least buried it so I didn't have to see the death and destruction of something I was so excited about.

sb / June 25, 2010 12:48 PM

All I grow is weeds and frustration. The dirt hates me. Even the pebbles are suspicious.

Don't get me wrong, I treat them well. Organic soil, plenty of sun, expensive all-natural compost. I don't make it, I buy it. I think I paid about $45 per tomato a few years back.

I can't even play Farmville.

Brian Boyer / June 25, 2010 3:27 PM

We tilled the yard under, and planted lots: peas, cukes, watermelon, sunflowers, bitter melon, tomatoes, beets, radishes...

And we're photoblogging our progress at


Charlie D. / June 25, 2010 9:08 PM

Succulents. Easy peasy if you have south facing windows.

Pavel Y. / June 26, 2010 12:36 PM

What's the opposite of a green thumb? Yellow thumb? That's what my wife and I have.

PMan / June 26, 2010 4:03 PM

Herbs, real success with parsley, basil and oregano. Mild success with rosemary and chives. Not so great with cilantro.

beer:30 / June 27, 2010 2:34 PM

Not only can I not grow anything, I can kill just about anything just by bringing it into my yard or house. What makes it even more frustrating and irritating is that my best friend can grow EVERYTHING in her yard. So I spend my time there helping her tend the property. The flowers, tall grasses, bushes and trees would overtake the joint if we didn't cut them back. And the constant stream of comments from her neighbors: "you always have the most beautiful yard on the block!" Yeesh.

radioactive_piano / June 28, 2010 10:54 AM

I always thought I had a thumb that started off green for a few months but ended in brown, spider-mite disaster ultimately.

However! We just moved to a place with a N/E facing deck and have some boxes growing thyme, basil, chives, cilantro, rosemary, and oregano. Admittedly, we bought them all as seedlings, either from a farmer's market or from a garden shop, but still! We're keeping them (mostly) alive.

[Ironically, I used to joke how I could care for a cat, not a plant, because at least a cat lets me know if I forget to feed it. Our cat doesn't get excited over food, and never, ever begs. Maybe he's forcing me to be a better plant-mom, too?]

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