Last year I decided to grow some vegetables, so I dragged Youngest to the local farm market and bought some basic garden plants.
Because the dog had full range of the backyard, I decided to put my veggies on the side of the house. I think being so close to he house caused too much heat and we didn’t get much of a harvest. At least that was the reason I told myself I was largely unsuccessful.
So this year I decided to do an actual factual garden in the backyard. Spouse tilled up my space as soon as the ground thawed. I hooked up a run wire and attached my pooch to it to keep her out of my garden. My plot is small, only about four by twelve feet, but it is very nearly overwhelming to a person with limited gardening skills. Because our soil is so awful and hard, I worked several bags of dried leaves into my garden along with copious amounts of coffee grounds, because I read it would improve the quality.
Then, because buying actual plants is expensive enough that I would feel a little bad when they died, this year Youngest and I started our plants from heirloom seeds we selected at the farmers’ market. We started the seeds in little containers in the kitchen, and all seemed to be going well.
At long last it was time to transfer our seedlings to the garden. Within four days of being transplanted to the great outdoors, all of our plants were dead. Instead of standing in my backyard sobbing as I wanted to, I made a beeline to the internet to learn what I had done wrong. Apparently, plants grown in captivity cannot be introduced into the wild without going through a process called hardening, which means putting them outside for a few hours at a time. Oops.
Back we went to the farmers’ market and bought vegetable plants. Thankfully, all of our purchased plants seem to be thriving. As I surveyed the wonder that is my garden, it occurred to me that I am apparently incapable of planting things in an orderly fashion. Most gardeners have row after perfect row of plants. My garden looks more like a drunken monkey did the planting, Nonetheless, I was feeling pretty darned proud of my efforts. As I was telling my dad about all of the zucchini blossoms I had, he informed me, in the nicest possible way, that if you can’t grow zucchini, you probably can’t grow anything. Now my fingers hurt from crossing them so hard hoping that I can at least successfully grow zucchini.
Some of my social network friends already have harvested veggies from their gardens. I am jealous to the point that I have considered plucking and deep frying a squash blossom like I have seen done on television. But if I did that, the rest of the blossoms might fall off and I would be forever known as the girl who couldn’t even grow zucchini. It’s not worth the risk.
Amy is a writer living in Hendricks County. You can read more of her work at rubymay1029.blogspot.com.