Monday, January 11, 2010

Spring in the Midst of Winter

Here we are in the deep freeze of winter, and suddenly the garden catalogs start popping up like dandelions in springtime.

I love garden catalogs. I love that I have seven of them in my mail basket and we currently have 6 inches of snow outside.

It's a welcome sign that winter won't last forever at a time when we're shoveling snow and the only thing growing around here are these:

Yes, that's a dust bunny. A LARGE dust bunny. Sometimes I like to hum a few bars from The Magnificent Seven as they roll across my hardwood floors. Whatever. A little dust never hurt anyone, and besides, the kids find them entertaining.

But I digress. Back to the garden.

I'm hoping to do better on the gardening front this year than last year.

Last year I had pathetic tomatoes. Pathetic as in I got fewer than a dozen tomatoes from four plants. Shoot, my sister did better with a pot on her apartment balcony!

Notice the lack of fruit. One of my "tomato" plants. I'd post a photo of my sister's plant, but it puts mine so to shame that it's embarassing!

I had abject failure in the form of a blueberry "bush."

Seriously, who sells this thing as a blueberry "bush"?

The pumpkins sucuumbed to fungus. (Though to be fair, I realized what was happening and never treated them.)

And the deer ate most of the peas, cucumbers and squash.

On the plus side, I did have a nice crop of green beans, carrots and lettuce. I got a few potatoes, and Amelia's watermelon grew big enough to have a taste of the fruit.

Look, Mom, it's even edible!

Now that I've had several months to forget (mostly) the failures, the excessive amount of green beans we ate, and the constant need to weed, I'm excited to try again. So I'm busy poring over the garden catalogs debating which peas are the best and whether to try another blueberry bush. (You can bet that this time I'll be making sure to find out exactly what they mean when they say "bush.")

I have a plan to ward off the deer, though Amelia insists that we need to share with them. Nice sentiment, but I'm not putting work into a garden to "share" with the animals. I'll spare you the details of the plan. Suffice it to say that in another year my three boys will love to help "protect" the garden from the deer. (Hey, the guy who has the nicest garden in the neighborhood swears by it.)

I will move my tomatoes back out to the garden plot, since they clearly didn't get enough sun up by the house. And I will plant my seed potatoes BEFORE they start to rot. I may even sprout a watermelon seed or two in the house so they can get a little head start.

Ah, yes, spring is right around the corner. Can't you just smell it?


john cave osborne said...

HA! i've always wanted to be able to have a wonderful garden and grow okra. how random is that?

you know what might help your garden? (not that i think it needs help, well, except maybe the blueberry bush)? the DUST BUNNIES. don't they double as fertilizer?

honestly, how you even have time to garden is VERY impressive, my friend.

Christy AKA Trippin' Mama said...

Dust bunnies as fertilizer! That might be a million dollar idea right there.

I don't exactly have time to garden. Hence last year's less-than-spectacular results.

But I do love fresh green beans and eating peas straight out of the garden with my kids, so we try. And for the $12 worth of seeds and plants it takes to fill my little 7'x8' plot, it's a cheap hobby even if we produce very little.

I would LOVE to get blueberries to grow. But I think they sense my desire and take delight in expiring just to spite me.

Robbie said...

If you seriously want to try again with the blueberries, I know of a farmer around Bloomington that sells bushes. We got them at the Bloomington market last spring, and they even produced this year. (We'll see how they survive the winter!)

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