Last year we didn’t do too much gardening. I was too nauseated and tired to keep up with it, and the potted herbs I had died a thirsty, hot death. I feel so guilty!
This year we are settled in as the time to plant came, so we decided to build a raised bed and try our luck again. Like The Husband always says, I’m the brain and he’s the braun of the operation, so I designed the raised bed (okay, okay, the Pioneer Woman did) and he built it and filled it with a compost/soil combo that is specifically designed for raised bed gardening. I partitioned the bed a la Square Foot Gardening, and as the season evolves I’ve been sowing seeds and transplanting starters. Here’s how it looks today:
From the top down, we have peas, three sisters (corn, beans, and squash), jalapeños, green and red bell peppers (starters), four different kinds of tomatoes (starters), cilantro, parsley, spinach, and lettuce. Every square is either seeded or filled with a transplant now, and we just have to wait for it to grow. GROW GARDEN, GROW!!
I started some starters in the house a month ago. I believe I had lettuce, jalapeños, basil, and thyme starters. They sprouted but were getting kind of leggy, especially the lettuce. Unfortunately we then had to leave for North Dakota, and they all died. My black thumb strikes again. Those poor baby plants.
Peas were one of the first things I planted; I sowed them straight into the ground (along with the spinach and parsley). They are doing so well, but I should have put in some kind of trellis when I sowed the seeds. The small plants are having problems finding the sticks I crammed in the ground Russian-Roulette-style (I sure hope I didn’t impale any important roots). Hopefully they will find their way. I’ve also found a few aphids on them, but I’ve been hand-picking them off and so far there isn’t any substantial damage to the plants. It’s definitely something to look out for from now on.
The spinach and parsley have sprouted, but they’re growing ever so slowly. Actually, with the exception of the peas, everything that I’ve planted has grown. ever. so. slowly. Most of it hasn’t even sprouted yet. At this rate I’ll be harvesting in time for St. Valentine’s Day.
I am wondering if I am supposed to fertilize the garden. The dirt we used had compost in it, but I take after my grandmothers–I have the unrelenting urge to feed everything and everyone until they can’t take anymore. And I know that plants have limits like people, but the thing is I don’t know when I’ve gone too far with them. I don’t want to overdo it. And I don’t want to underdo it.
And this is the part where I usually throw my hands in the air and decide I’ve failed before I’ve even begun, because I can’t do it right! And plant carnage follows soon after. But this year I have a different outlook. It’s all an experiment, and I will try my best with the limited information I’ve got. After harvest time I’ll re-evaluate and see what I should be doing differently. That’s it. There is no valedictorian of gardening. I won’t be given a report card with grades on it at the end of the year. I just have to do my best and eventually I will do well, but it could take years. And that’s okay.
I’ve also put six strawberry starters in a strawberry pot.
I’m a little concerned I just paid $12 for maybe a pound of strawberries, if I’m lucky.
It’s okay. It’s an educational experience, an experiment. Even if I have to learn the hard way, I’ll still learn.
It was really hard to get those plants into the little holes. If I do that again, I’m going to buy smaller starters.