Saturday, March 26, 2011

Gardening virgin

I have never planted a garden. I inherited one when I moved into a house about 10 years ago. It did well that first season, no thanks to me. When I tried a revival the next summer, I was thwarted by a groundhog the size of toddler who considered my backyard plot his own personal raw food bar.

I have since attempted to grow tomatoes in a container. I have succeeded in getting them to grow, even bear fruit. However just as the green tomatoes reached almost-perfection, I'd come home to find them half-eaten in the middle of the yard. Squirrels!

A few years ago, I grew some lettuces in a whiskey barrel planter. That actually worked out pretty well. But now, I have a house. I wanted my own house and my own yard for just this reason: to have a vegetable garden.

I have determined that there will be two 6' x 4' raised beds. There will be at least 4 varieties of tomatoes. There will be rainbow chard, broccoli, lettuces, hot peppers and herbs. I also plan to add carrots, beets and peas. I thought about planting pickling cucumbers too, but the pickles I canned last summer are still sitting in the basement. Because, one, there are only so many pickles a body can eat. And, two, they cross the line on saltiness.

And they're off!

So, I ordered seeds from a catalog. And started them in little plastic greenhouse thing-ys. I made sure they weren't too wet or too dry. And within a few days, I had the first signs of plant life! I was so thrilled. Eventually most of the little pots of dirt had baby plants peeking out. They were living on the kitchen table, right in front of an east-facing window. But then, Dilbert became interested. And began to sit on them. Having a cat sit on you when you are a seedling trying to grow doesn't work out so well.

Bu now ...
Dilbert is the kitty who gets into everything. He doesn't mean to be naughty; he's just curious. ("The cast" is introduced here.) Finding a space that is both cat-free and large enough for the seed-starting trays was a challenge. Also getting that spot in direct sunlight was impossible.

And while I have no idea what I'm doing, I am hell-bent on getting this garden to grow. So, I have determined that the best way to keep my seedlings alive and thriving long enough to have something worthy of putting in the ground is to purchase a grow light. Hopefully, my determination will pay off in bushels of delicious heirloom tomatoes!


  1. 1st rule of gardening - have fun!

    Tip: most soup kitchens will gladly accept garden fresh fruits & veggies.

    Tip: plant what you eat, and what tastes best fresh. I'd say peppers, but if you don't like peppers...

  2. I keep thinking I should do this and then I keep thinking, I don't want to mess around in dirt ever, also the supermarket. Then I think, I should garden it up though! I should take charge about my own food making. Then I remember that the internet is really interesting.

  3. Ah, I *don't* like bell peppers, no. Blech!! Just about the only vegetable that I despise!

  4. Jer, you should at least plant something in a pot. Tomatoes or strawberries.
    But, no, the internet is not going to read itself.
    So, win-win, either way.