It’s seed catalog season. So far I’ve pulled three catalogues from the mailbox and have forbid myself to open them because I’m sitting on huge stockpile of seeds.
A few years ago my husband ordered an “end of the world” box of seeds. Something to have on hand in case society breaks down and food becomes scarce.
Last winter I broke the seal on the box containing the “end of the world” seeds. My husband protested, I countered with, “do these seeds have an expiration date?” He couldn’t answer so I claimed the “end of the world” seeds as mine.
What I found in the box made me say, “WOW.” I needed many acres of land to plant the pound of seeds I pulled from the box. I decided to plant a few Roma tomatoe seeds to see if the seeds were viable as they had been sitting in storage for several years.
I saved several salad field greens containers hoping they would act like mini greenhouses, they did! My thirteen year old daughter volunteered to plant the seeds. These were the instructions I gave her; fill each container with two inches of potting soil, place 6-8 seeds in each container, add a little water and close the lid.
A few weeks later it was clear that she didn’t hear my instructions. Each container sprouted about 20 plants. To my surprise most of them lived and were transplanted into our garden.
So here we are midway through this story. You are probably thinking that I’m a serious gardener. Sorry but no. I try to be a gardener. Some years I do better (when my husband helps) than other years. Last summer our garden was…a surprisingly good disaster. Yep, that sums it up.
Last year we didn’t get our garden in until the first weekend in June. That weekend we decided it was now or never, the garden had to be planted. Our tomato plants filled half the garden and some other vegetable plants I bought at a greenhouse took up another fourth of the space. There was still room left for us to plant seeds. (That never happened)
A week later we went on vacation. It rained and rained. It rained for the rest of the month. Weeds took over the garden and bugs had multiplied exponentially, especially the kind that feast on human blood. At the end of June the recorded rainfall for the month measured over seven inches.
When the sun finally came out in July, I declared a forfeit, nature won. The garden was a lost cause. In August bright orange zucchini blossoms dotted the green jungle. A few weeks later my husband waded into the riot of weeds and found tomatoes and peppers.
(This was my messy garden in September, never watered it or weeded)
(This is what was hiding under the weeds.)
(This is one day’s pick, I picked tomatoes and peppers for weeks.)
Putting in a vegetable garden is hard work and there are no guarantees. Having a messy garden is okay, you’ll still get some vegetables. If you accept that you are not a Master Gardener, just a person trying to grow some vegetables it becomes fun. I’ve been known to plant vegetables in my flowerbeds. Pepper plants and herbs look good nestled between begonias. Why not? I figure they are my flowerbeds so I can put whatever I want in them.
I’ve been saving salad containers and buying potting soil. I have a few weeks until I plant this year’s tomato crop. When I start sowing seeds my husband will remember that he has not ordered a replacement box of “end of the world” seeds. When the new box of seeds arrives I will smile. After 18 years of marriage I have learned to pick my battles.
By Jill Eudaly
Photos by Jill Eudaly
Jill’s art blog www.jeudaly.blogspot.com