Louisville, Ky., – Don’t get me wrong, I do love growing my own food, getting my hands dirty and seeing the results (be they shabby or spectacular) on my dining room table throughout the summer.
But, damn, year after year of Seattle-type rains every spring that delays or hinders, the joys of gardening do get a little old. That’s one of the reasons why this is the first post of the 2016 City Girl Gone Gardening post. Looking back to 2015, I was deep into my daily gardening work. Yeah, that hasn’t been happening this year.
But I have been doing some stuff since March.
Since my tomatoes suffered from goodness-knows what kind of disease last season [see CGGG: Misery Loves Company], I had to throw out all the dirt in my three beds. My stingy side HATED it — that was a lot of money invested in dirt. Still, I had that early optimism that Spring always brings: this was going to be a great gardening year. It wasn’t going to rain every. single. day. I was going to grow enough to fill my pantry shelves and give away plenty to friends and neighbors.
Still riding high on that optimism, on April 2, I bought enough dirt to fill one larger bed and two smaller ones for raising seeds and planting lettuce and spinach (great early Spring crops).
The fact that these seeds came up continued to fuel my optimism for the upcoming year — so much so that I expanded the number of beds thanks to the generosity of our neighbor, David, who gave us a pallet-made bar to do with as we wished. I told him I knew exactly what I would do with it.
By May 12th, my tomato plants flourished and it was time to re-pot and split the bounty between my garden and The Farm Garden I share with my nephew, A.J. I counted nearly 120 plants.
Then the rains came. It was about this time I realized this year may not be much different than last year. My plants have this nice yellow tinge to their leaves. They haven’t died, they just look, well, sickly.
I’ve since doused the baby plants with Epsom Salt and a natural, organic fertilizer I had to purchase (normally, I would use my own compost, but it just wouldn’t decompose so it’s still stewing in the Death Star). My hopes and prayers are that they’ll perk back up in time to plant this Memorial Weekend at The Farm — Biblical Rains permitting.
This past Sunday’s weather was absolutely gorgeous so out to the backyard I went. More than $100 in dirt, bitching kids (I just know they’ll look back on this time with fondness, maybe) and a helpful husband later, I got my garden in the beds.
I now have a bed dedicated each to tomatoes (Roma, Beefsteak and an heirloom called Box Car Willie which I bought just because the name tickled me), cucumbers, peppers (sweet banana and jalepeno), green beans, and various squashes (zucchini and yellow squash).
Heck, I was on a roll, so I went ahead and planted some stuff in containers: various herbs, kale, pretty flowers and a couple of cherry tomato plants. I was also glad to see my paint job on the recycling bins from last year still look good, so I just had to use them again this year.
It’s not supposed to rain for a few days so I’m keeping my fingers, toes and anything else that I can cross, crossed.
I really want to write a happy post in September about the plethora of produce I need to preserve.