Friday, July 22, 2011

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Mine grows with weeds. Aplenty.

For me, gardening is about fun. I like to dig in the dirt, I like to watch things grow, I like to eat vegetables. And sometimes I like to pick weeds. But I may have underestimated the verve of the creeping charlie and other nuisances making home in my vegetable beds.

I may have one up on the weeds with my sheer numbers, though. When I planted tomato and pepper seeds way back when it was still frosty outside, I estimated on the cautious side of things. I planted 50 pepper and tomato plants knowing only a few would grow. I only got 3 pepper plants in the ground and they are so small I'm not sure I'll harvest anything. But, tomatoes proved me wrong. I have 14 huge, flowering, heirloom tomato plants in my garden.

I must have lucked out with good soil. Because I'm not a great gardener. I don't check the soil, add supplements, plant in neat rows and meticulously till. And right about now, with the corn and sunflowers taller then me, the zucchini and watermelon plants sprawling across the grass, and 14 tomato plants taking over every square inch they can claim, my garden feels a little like Miss Mouse's garden. A Garden for Miss Mouse was my favorite book when I was a little girl. I had it memorized and used to "read" it to anyone willing to listen. Now Little Man loves it, too.

And I don't care that it is full of weeds. I don't even care if we don't get any peppers. What I do care about is the summer ritual of running outside every morning with Little Man to check on the garden and see what has changed. We both pick through the sugar snap peas looking for any big enough to eat off the vine.
Little Man drools over the green tomatoes and can't stand to wait for the ripening to be complete. I check the zucchini flowers and hope the baby bunny living in the fire pit hasn't eaten everything. The wonder and excitement of trying something new, watching something grow and bloom, and seeing that excitement bubble over in Little Man is such a gift.

And I like the unexpected little challenges that arise. Like when a heavy rain and wind storm knocked over all the corn. We just replanted the stalks in the ground and Hubs jerry-rigged a rake and a shovel handle in front of it all to hold it up. So far, so good. The stalks are still growing, so it must have worked!

I also have no idea what is going on with our broccoli. Little Man picked out this crazy, pointy and spiral-looking Italian broccoli plant and of course I threw away the seed packet after planting so I have no idea when it will be ready. It doesn't look like the picture yet, so I'm guessing we either messed it up or it isn't ready. Either way, it can stay put for now.

Even in a little city yard, there is plenty to explore and discover.

I just hope this guy doesn't like tomatoes!

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