The Hopelessly Inept Gardener?
Okay, so I DO NOT have a green thumb. It is a known fact in my family that when I try to grow things, they die. I am basically a hopelessly inept gardener. (FYI…I’m good with things that ASK for food and water, like pets and kids. So no need to call Child Services… I’m just a hazard to the plant community.) But I really WANT to grow a garden. I’ve tried many times in my adult life, but I live in an area of Florida with very sandy soil, and it’s summer here 11 months out of the year, so gardening is not simple.
A small tangent – Genetically, I should kick ass at gardening. My granny had a beautiful garden! It took up an entire hillside in NC. She grew corn, tomatoes, beans, strawberries, squash, blueberries, grapes, and more. Every year of my childhood, I spent my summer filling up water jugs and laying newspaper in between the bean rows. (And once I hit puberty, staying away from the cucumbers at “that time of the month”, lest my hormones somehow damage them… never did understand that one.)
Despite my repeated lack of success, I still have a strong desire to cultivate my own food. (I’m hippy dippy that way… we have solar panels and I’d love to have chickens, too! Although the urban coyotes make me hesitant on that one.) I blame this feeling on these three plants. Somehow, they are alive and flowering and beautiful, and the pineapple may even be edible someday. Plus, these plants have been around me for years! So maybe the curse has worn off… maybe you can teach an old plant murderer new tricks!
So this year, I am starting another garden… And it is my biggest yet.
My son and I planted tomatoes (both cherry and bush), bell peppers, bush beans, multi-colored carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, collards, kale and eggplant. They are all in containers or raised beds, so I could add good quality soil that will actually hold some water. I planted a little later in the spring than I’d hoped, but I’m hopeful that I can get some harvest before the plants start cooking in their own pots. (I found some good info on Florida gardening from my local agricultural extension here.)
My son is probably the biggest driving force behind my desire to grow fruits and veggies. I want him to know where real food comes from, and to feel proud and capable when the seeds he planted sprout and grow into food we can then eat. So I had him help me plant (see staged pictures above). Looks wonderful, right? That’s what I thought planting with a child would look like.
Nope. Here’s what it actually looked like. (Side note – my control freak personality totally came out during this process… the seed packets said to plant at a depth of 1/4″ or 1/2″. Not an easy concept to explain to my little mud-throwing enthusiast. I guess we will see how much that actually matters! Totally stressed me out though.)
I’ll keep you posted on what grows at our homestead in our 2017 Spring Garden. Please send green, growing, pest-free vibes this way!