I began to miss the foliage so much that I decided to try and start a little flower garden. Unfortunately I came into more then a few problems being here in Iraq, on a military base.
1. The dirt here is super fine and free of any organic matter, therefore, very very very dense when wet. It has the consistency of baby power when dry, you can only imagine when it is wet. Ridiculously hard to get seeds to start in.
2. I had no seeds, and I couldn't have them mailed to me.
3. It is hella dry here, unless you have a constant flow of water to wherever you trying to grow, the plants dry out.
So, I set out and used my limited resources to figure out a way to bring some of the PA green to Iraq.
Step 1: Step One, Materials
I next got the things I needed to tackle my watering system. It isn't a new idea probably, I took some ideas from two inscrutables and combined them to fix my dryness problem. First, I got some 1 liter water bottles which can be found everywhere here on base and got some 550 cord (parachute cord) from one of the air force people I know. Apparently they had some old Parachutes they were getting rid of. I'll show you what I will do with that in a later step.
Since the Iraqi dirt is to dense when wet for growing efficiently I remeberd that one of the tools at my disposal to soaking up Hazmat spills on base is peat moss! Which made for an awesome growing material. I also did one better. I went down to the STP Plant (poopie plant) and got some of the "dried solids" (poopie) and mixed two parts of that to ten parts peat moss. It makes for excellent soil to grow things in!!!
Finally, I talked to one of the Iraqi guys that works on base filling sandbags. He lives off base and comes into base during the day to work (16 bucks a day makes him a rich man). I had him sneak in some seeds from outside the wire. I wasn't sure what he was going to bring me, but to my surprise they were in packets just like home.
Step 2: Putting It Together
Then I buried these up to the cap in the box with my super-duper-pooper soil. I made sure the cords were in various depths so to irrigate the roots at all levels.
Finally I planted the seeds, and filled the bottles up!
Step 3: The Waiting Game
This has been working better then I could ever think and now I have some green here in Iraq. Hot darn!
And one of the coolest parts is the ferns move when you touch them, they close up!