It’s the time of year when all my friends are posting photos of their beautiful garden bounties, showing off their homegrown tomatoes and wondering what to do with the abundant harvest.
And as summer turns to fall, it’s time for me to admit to myself and the world that my garden is a failure.
Oh, I like to preach the homestead life, speaking of cultivating and preserving and all of my clever gardening ideas. But at the end of the season my first serious attempt at gardening has been a disaster.
I spent significant time, money, and energy creating a plot, cultivating compost, laying down organic soil, sprinkling seeds, building tomato cages, battling slugs, watering and pruning. But somewhere along the way, things went terribly wrong.
It all started quite promising with two perfect cherry tomatoes blossoming early in June. But after those were plucked the leaves started to wilt and tangle all around the garden. Dill, parsley, and chives died off inexplicably. The basil and beans were completely devoured by slugs. Things sprouted up in areas where I wasn’t entirely sure what I planted – sometimes two entirely different plants seemingly coming from the same hole in the ground. The only thing that seemed to thrive were some extremely resilient flowers planted in the cinder blocks. Sadly, these were the only crop that was not edible.
The whole back area is so swarmed by mosquitoes that I can’t even go out to water the plants without getting half a dozen bites and bringing a few mosquitoes back into the house. It is currently a dank, dark mosquito and slug lair with arbitrary vines tangled about. I am a little bit scared of it and when people offer me a few of their organically gardened fruits I cry.
Alas, I will try again next year. I will plant the tomatoes on the less convenient but far more sunny deck. I will properly space seeds apart and believe that those tiny things will in fact sprout something. I will buy a self watering container to plant greens and learn the best crops to plant in the shade. I will keep my basil inside if I have to so it doesn’t become a meal for snails.
I am resilient, like those pink flowers in the cinder blocks that I can’t tell you the name of because I have no idea. I will have a green thumb if I have to dip it in fingerpaint to fake it. Parsley will thrive and heads of lettuce will roll.