Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A Gardening Epiphany- Seriously.....

The word, "epiphany" can have religious means or it can be used to describe a feeling that one would get when they suddenly realized or comprehended the meaning of something. In this case, I had a gardening epiphany. I suddenly realized and comprehended that I didn't have a black thumb like I had previously thought.

Last year, we tried gardening on a large scale with seeds all bought from the same company. Overall, we were sabotaged, whether it be from fire ants, deer, drought, underground river, or just plain human ignorance. Well, this year we all but gave up until I had a much smaller vision of what I wanted a garden to look like. Since all of my previous efforts had fizzled out and only produced a few zucchini (I spell that word wrong every time- thank goodness for spell check!) squash and some (by some, I mean, a small few) random other veggies that managed to hide themselves under the weeds to avoid being munched by the local wildlife.

This year, (you might remember this post) all 72 of our seedlings have officially died- all of the sudden like- and I know for a fact that I didn't have anything to do with their demise thanks to a helpful comment from my sister. The last poor tomato plant, and 5 peppers were out back in their little peat pots waiting to see some actual real earth. They looked sickly. Kind of pale, "wilty", and overall, yucky looking. My sister knows a lot about plants and their diseases because it was her job for umpteen years. She barely glanced down at them and said, "Oh, the tomatoes had tomato spotted wilt virus and passed it on to the rest of the plants". So, that was it. Plain and simple- I don't have a black thumb.

The seed company had sabotaged me for 2 years in a row. I had contaminated seeds so no wonder everything died shortly after it came up. What a relief! That meant that all of those tomato plants that I killed last year with chicken manure- didn't die because of chicken manure-it was the virus! Geesh. What did I do when I reached this epiphany? Nothing. The seed company didn't return my email so they took the easy way out. I was "jipped" so I'll never buy from that company again. That's ok, I found a better company with better product.

By the time I found all of this out, it was late spring. It's too late to start over, but, I had an idea...

I've always wanted to make pickles and cucumbers don't take that long to grow so I decided I would try to garden this year on a much, much, much smaller scale. Well, the local dollar store had these pots for only $1.00 a piece and they only had 5 left. I couldn't resist. Next came the accidental discovery that Walmart had their organic soil on clearance- dirt (pun intended) cheap! Hmm, that is two hurdles overcome. I ordered some cucumber seeds from a reliable source and away I went......

I put three of those pots up on the back porch and 2 down in the yard. In each pot, I planted 4 seeds- good thing too- on average, 2 out of 4 came up. My idea is to let the porch cukes grow up the rails on the porch and the yard potted cukes, I'll have to devise some kind of staking system to keep them out of the lawn mower's path.

How is it going, you ask?

Marvelously. Thank you Baker Creek Seeds! I have my fingers crossed that there will be a pickle making blog post sometime in the future.

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