Could we change our attitude, we should not only see life differently, but life itself would come to be different. ~ Katherine Mansfield

Friday, June 10, 2011

You reap what you sow...or so I hear.

The garden went in last weekend and it is looking a little sadder than when I started, but I am chalking this up to the seedlings having an initial bout of homesickness for their former life at Lowe’s. That and a week of 90-degree days – who can compete with that?? And let’s be honest, I am not a natural. I like the idea of being one with the earth, I just don’t have much experience with it and find it kind of dirty and overwhelming. But I’m learning.

To my credit I did take good notes on last year’s inaugural garden and made some improvements. I didn’t plant 5 zucchinis. Turns out that is way too much zucchini to handle. And I abandoned the dismal failures (cantaloupe, strawberries), modified the planting style (much less crowded this year), and added marigolds because my grandma used to have them in her garden. I had to Google why she did that – turns out they keep aphids out naturally. My grandma was way ahead of her time…or she lived in a time when “organic” was the status quo and the thought of dousing plants in expensive chemicals for no reason was seen as weird. In any case, they look beautiful and give an instant feeling of gratification.

From a cost perspective, it’s cheaper this year. Last year we had to buy the pots for the tomatoes, and Gabe built the garden beds and prepped the soil with peat moss and compost. This year we tilled then jumped straight to planting, and I have a goal of conquering the magical world of mulch this season. Ah, the optimism of a novice.

The most immediate challenge is to find an organic fertilizer. I used a fish-based one last year, but it reeked. A day in the garden turned into an evening of Danielle and her fish gut fingers. Any suggestions here would be welcome. And if anyone has an idea on how to quell Jude’s natural “I picked a flower!” instinct that would come in handy as well…





Our final plant count: 2 zucchini, 1 Habanero pepper, 1 rosemary, 1 flat leaf parsley, 4 sweet basil, 1 pumpkin, 1 straight neck squash, 1 acorn squash, 1 Mexibell pepper, 1 Anaheim pepper, 1 hill of watermelon seeds, 2 rows of lettuce seed, and 5 potted tomatoes of different varieties. Total cost, $83.87.

2 comments:

Unknown said...

Hey there...
I know you wrote this a long time ago, but I thought this might still help for the upcoming season. We amend our soil with Azomite (replaces the trace minerals that good soil should have, but we've kind of stripped out of it), worm castings and seaweed. We also spray our foliage with seaweed and Garrett Juice. All of that is organic. Marigolds are great for aphids as are lady bugs. You might want to plant a sweet smelling flower to draw bees. Your tomatoes, peppers and herbs are self-pollinating, but the squash need bees for pollinating. We are starting to really worry because we don't have very many bees. Also, a wonderful source for pure, natural, non-GMO seeds is Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds at www.Rareseeds.com. So, hope this helps. Happy planting!!

Danielle said...

This is great! Keep your eyes peeled for the upcoming 2012 Garden blog. I'll let you know what we used and how it goes. I'm taking this list to the gardening center in my neighborhood. Maybe next year I'll attempt to start seedlings on my own...

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