Saturday, September 12, 2009

"...with exactness..." or not.

My gardening efforts have never been what you would call, well, successful. Our tomato plants produce beautiful flowers all summer, and fruit just in time for it to freeze. Our sweet corn ears are about four inches long, and instead of having nice rows of kernels, they have warts. Just like a frog. Our beans freeze. Our peas get scorched by the sun. Our sweet potatoes get bushy on top, but have scarcely any tubers under the ground. Our grapes get pulled out by the man who was building our deck, and the only pomegranate that didn't split last year (the first year our bushes produced anything) got picked by the kids at least a month before it was ready. The almond died, as did the plum and the apricots, and event he mint, THE MINT, bit the dust this year when the batteries died in our irrigation system. After seeing the successful gardens of my neighbors this year though, I realize I can't blame it ALL on fact that we get about 4 inches of rainfall a year, our summer winds are so hot they hurt, and our soil is so salty you could season your food with it. If you wanted to. There must be some things I could do better. So, I researched and bought the 11-52 fertilizer that's supposed to be perfect for out alkali soil. (The man at the Intermountain Farmers Association wanted to know if I was planting a field of alfalfa, because that's what most people do with it. No, just a garden. His eyebrows about crawled off his forehead, and he suggested about six other products. When he realized I was determined, he finally filled me a 50 pound bag, the smallest he could, from the bulk fertilizer section. By now I was seriously doubting that anyone actually gardens with this stuff, but we shall see.) I also looked up the plants that you can plant in our area in September and decided I would be strict. No fudging and planting some things that are recommended for August or October. It must be September. So, that left me with carrots, broccoli, spinach, and onions. I bought packets of those, Chad tilled in the fertilizer and some compost, raked it all for me, and then I took over. Now, six months pregnant does not lend itself well to bending over and measureing the spacing between seeds. At all. And all my seed packets said to plant 1/4 to 1/2 inches deep. What the heck! Despite all of Chad's dutiful raking, my garden plot still looked like a well trodden beach. And I didn't see the rake anywhere. How am I supposed to get things uniformly 1/4 inch deep? I hoed my rows. Not with the point of the hoe, but with the flat side. I leveled out the row and flicked the excess dirt to the side. Then, I took handfulls of seeds and scattered them up and down the rows. I did this till all the seed packets were empty. (Oh, not the broccoli. I started them in six pack plastic containers because... you're supposed to, right?) The packets said I'd have to thin them out later anyway, and it's not like you can't eat that baby spinach or carrot or onion that you pulled. We might as well eat lots of it. Oh, and I also sowed carrots in the future brocoli row, because, carrots grow down, broccoli grows up, we might as well use all the space we've got, right? And my packet wasn't empty yet. Then I hoed the dirt back onto the rows, but realized I couldn't really tell where my rows had been, so I just shuffled all the dirt around a bit and tromped everything down. I figure that when the seedlings come up we will know where to arrange the irrigation lines. So anyway, if it's worth mentioning, I will tell you how it turns out. I may never space me seeds again. Then again, I may become a diligent spacer. We will see. At any rate, it will have been a learning experience.


  1. The garden might not be productive, but the gardener is dang cute!!

  2. Gardening in Nevada really is a whole lot of work and even more prayer... not to mention the bugs and weeding. I planted many gardens during my growing up years and I am embarrassed to say since I have been married I have not desired to plant a garden or have a horse, or cows, or pigs and chickens... been there done that.


  3. Good Effort Cinn! Any work done that pregnant is definitely comendable.