I have pretty limited space to garden. Well, I have tons of space, great, wonderfully, sunny space, but not much of it is useable. My yard is so covered in goffer holes and squirrel tunnels and burrows that it’s hard to even just walk around without falling through. It hasn’t always been this way; the changes in the yard have really happened over the past five years. As the large Grey squirrels have been disappearing, the smaller and more destructive Ground squirrels have been taking over. I’d bet my yard houses 15-20 of the little suckers. If I was planning to stick around, I would have to find a way to solve those tiny giant problems, but because I’m going to be moving, I’m not touching it with a ten foot pole. Let them eat dirt.
But I really want to start a garden.
Now, I think it’s important that you know, I don’t just NOT have a green thumb, I have what is known in my tight circle of friends as, the Black Thumb of Death. I’ve killed cacti, house plants, bamboo, succulents, and oh, so many more. I’m not trying to brag, but the plastic plants in the fish tank have seen better days.
And my friends? MAN, it makes me so mad, but my friends all seem to have this incredible knack for making plants grow and bloom and thrive. My friend Aurora has this spider plant that, if laid out strand to strand, could probably wrap around the moon and back. I don’t know how many times she’s humored me and cut off a limb for me to root and grow. Dead, dead all dead. My friend Lisa has been growing vegetables in deck containers for years and she does really well with them. She grows tomatoes and cucumbers, peppers, berries; she’s even branched off and started a pumpkin patch in her yard. And then there’s Shannon, I don’t even know how to start in on Shannon. Let’s just say she could feed a small nation with what she is currently growing in her yard. Over the past several years she has shaped her land and worked the soil and she is producing beautiful, tasty, organic crops in an equally beautiful and very creative garden.
These ladies are so incredibly impressive to me. They make my black thumb green, but not with talent- with envy. So optimistic are they, they have all said at one time or another, that I can do it. Funny thing is, I’m starting to believe them. From them, I have finally learned that it takes dedication, time, patience, attentive attention and some basic knowledge to make your garden grow. I know, I know, “attentive attention” seems redundant, but it’s not. I think it’s been my main problem in the past. I have this very unique, very special ability to give plants attention, without being attentive. I water them, but I over-water them, or under-water them and I never pay enough mind to see that the leaves change- turn yellow or get wilted. I just tended to the need, without considering the result. But I’m paying attention now, people.
And I really want to start a garden.
So I have the determination and dedication. And I’m working on the patience and attentive attention. That leaves basic knowledge and I so did what I do BEST… I bought books, lots and lots of books. In a future blog I’ll review them, but for now let’s just say the basic knowledge need has been met.
I’ve decided that for my current situation, thanks to the fuzzy nut-eating rodents that have taken over my yard, deck gardening is the way for me to go.
Back in February, I started my first seeds inside, onions. Over the last few months I have added, tomatoes, squash, bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, herbs, and lettuce. In April, my dad and husband built a deck box. This month I sowed the seeds of carrots, beets, cucumbers and radishes directly in the box outside. I am so excited to say that they are all GROWING- so far. I’m hoping to have a small harvest at the end of the summer so I can get together with my Grandma and learn how to preserve and can from her, but that’s a future story. I’ll leave off today with some pictures of the progress of the veggies growing under the little light my thoughtful Husband rigged up for me. And as always, as things pop up, I’ll update you along the way.