25. March 2007 · Comments Off on I Got the Gardening Bug · Categories: General, Pajama Game

Growing up, my dad always had a vegetable garden. In fact, he always had a large vegetable garden. We had very few store-bought vegetables because Dad grew so many in the garden and canned them that we had enough some years to last more than just one winter. Unfortunately, though not at the time, I was not allowed in the garden because I might mess it up. I therefore didnít get lessons on how to weed, the proper way to hoe a planted garden, how to thin plants, etc. I didnít care either because I always figured I would just buy it from the store.

Now after years of buying from the store, I realize that my parents were right. Fruits and vegetables are better home grown. Now I am starting my own garden. So far, itís really small, and really more of a test run to see if I can actually grow one. The small area I have chosen for my garden spot only has a small area fit for growing currently. The previous owners had put a bunch of wood chips down in the area to use for a play area for their kids. I havenít managed to get a full half of the chips out of the area yet, so I only have about 1/3 of the area available.

I sat down back in January and decided what I wanted to plant. I finally settled on lettuce, spinach, broccoli, turnip greens, green peas, carrots, snap beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini and yellow crookneck squash, eggplant, bell pepper, cayenne, jalapeno peppers, watermelon, and cantaloupe. Of those already planted, I only managed to get 4 pea plants up, a handful of turnip greens, a handful of lettuce, a couple of handfuls of carrots, and Iím not sure that any of the spinach has come up. I also put out some strawberry plants that still look as dead as when I pulled them out of the bag. I started the tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers indoors, and aside from what Notch decided to munch on, I have almost all of them to come up and look real good. I could probably put them out this weekend, but I am going to leave them outside in the containers over this week to harden them before transplanting.

Now flowers are another matter entirely. Mittens, the stray cat we adopted, has decided that every place I have put potting soil is a toilet. Now fortunately, she isnít doing any ďreal businessĒ in them, but still sheís digging. Bad kitty. I suppose I am going to be forced to put netting (like vinyl chicken wire) over all my flowers and pots until she takes her business back to the leaves. But I digress. I didnít have good luck with flowers last year. I can only blame myself as I didnít keep them weeded, watered, and fertilized as I should have. I will put some of the blame on the software engineering course I took as I had absolutely no free time during that term and it was spring term. This year, I will have the time to do proper weeding and watering. Then I will see if I do truly have what my mom calls ďSusieís green thumbĒ referring to my paternal grandmother who could grow anything anywhere.

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