Heading Logo


Been There, Done That

By Laura Nethken Published: July 2, 2017 4:00 AM

I thought "tomorrow would be another day" for the garden, but not so much. This year, it's taken Dave and me closer to three weeks to get our garden in. I was upset last year because it took us a week.

Added to foul weather and being volunteered for other duties is that my back is demanding we take ever more frequent breaks. Two- to three-day breaks.

So, we put in four rows and took a few days off. On our next visit to the garden, we put in three more rows. I convinced myself we only had four "rows" left -- the stuff that isn't so much a row as a group of clumps.

And hopefully, they all keep to themselves or we could have a real mess out there with zucchini, squash, canteloupe and cukes mixing and mingling.

Finally, everything going in the black stuff was in. Somehow, we came up with two shy of a dozen in the tomato row, so I filled that out with a couple of random peppers. We got them because the grocery store had veggie plants half price. But they were pretty "random." A couple of these, a few of those

[Article continues below]

That's how we ended up with two pumpkin plants. Those finally got planted the other day, behind the backstop this time. That "volunteer" we had a couple of years ago was in front of it -- obviously, because that's where the kids were shooting at a pumpkin.

Two weeks later, we were shopping at the same store and they still had a couple of trays of veggie plants. When I asked how much, the guy asked what I was going to do with them.

Plant them, what do you think I'm going to do with them? Our friend said I should have told them I was going to make a salad out of them. Whatever.

I thought we were done with plants, but oh, no. These guys were half dead in those little bitty pots. I had to get them replanted. So now we have Jungle 2017 in the pea gravel behind the back porch.

We even got a couple cauliflower plants in that batch -- with tiny little heads on them. They're already more productive than any we ever grew. We totally gave up on cauliflower years ago. We just can't grow it.

[Article continues below]

By the time we got back out to the garden a few days later, one clump of zucchini was totally dead and another is looking pretty peaked. Of course, there's no extra zucchini hanging around.

But we are going to have some surplus stuff. When I wasn't looking, those sweet pepper, hot pepper and canteloupe seeds actually did sprout up. We're going to need a lot more pots. Or an addition to the garden.

The last to go in the garden, or actually around the outside, were the beans, peas and carrots.

I said I needed a hoe. And heard the same old line about somebody maybe having a couple of numbers that might work out. Very funny.

No one got the hoe down from the rafters of the shed, so I made do with a stick. Poke a hole, plop in a seed and repeat. A lot. I think I may have cut the pea row short on purpose for that very reason.

I was having issues about the peas anyway. I need a trellis for them to grow up. But unfortunately, it is well past garden season now.

If you want that kind of stuff, you have to shop in February or March. They'll have winter coats on the racks pretty soon.

The only thing I have for a trellis is the big metal rack I used a couple of years ago but I couldn't see that working in the garden.

I actually have a trellis, but it's in use as skirting for the camper to keep our Beagle Boy Cletus out from under it. I'm way too old and claustrophobic to crawl under there again to untangle him.

So my brainstorm is to trade the trellis for the metal rack. That one should have come to me a lot sooner than it did.

I may have cut the carrot row short, too. I wanted to do it right for once. Those seeds are too tiny to put just one in each hole. I always just dug a trench and poured them to it.

And the last year they did any good, we had an entire wheelbarrow full of odd little orange aliens, created by seeds growing too close together and never thinning the herd. I guess time will tell

° 2017 Laura Nethken


Rate this article

Do you want to leave a comment?   Please Log In or Register to comment.