You might expect someone who writes a blog about gardening to be an expert, a green thumb, a person whose perfect vegetables are the envy of the neighborhood.
But that’s not me. I’m just an amateur, and I make mistakes just like everyone else. I don’t mean to give advice when writing this blog, but rather to share my own journey as a humble beginner who’s learning as he goes.
Take carrots, for example. I have never had a satisfactory carrot crop, and I’m not sure why. Are the seeds too old? Am I planting them too deeply? Am I not giving them enough water? Darned if I know.
I probably have more experience with tomatoes than with any other crop, but this year I think I goofed while they were seedlings by watering them too much. A person at Hadley Garden Center told me this morning that indoor tomato seedlings need watering only about once a week, and I drowned them much more often than that. As a result, they look pathetic standing next to the Big Beef seedlings I bought today. We’ll see if they can recover from my excessive enthusiasm as they grow.
And then there’s zucchini. I’m ashamed to admit that while everyone makes jokes about secretly leaving zucchinis on someone’s doorstep, I can’t seem to grow the darned things. That’s because the plants always get attacked by the vine borer, the larvae of a moth that lays her eggs on the stems. This year, I’m trying two new techniques: daily wiping of the stems during the weeks when the moths are active, and spraying the plants with a garlic-cayenne solution.
I could go on, but you get the idea. Gardening is complicated; every plant has its own soil requirements, planting date, water needs, insect pests and diseases and harvest time. It’s a lot to keep track of, and failure is part of the process.