Chris and I started talking about a garden in February, but by early May, we hadn’t gotten around to renting a tiller because we couldn’t figure out transportation and logistics. Summer was looming, so I took matters into my own hands and started digging.
After two hours of digging, the garden looked like this. I was surprised that so much time had gone by — I didn’t feel like I had made enough progress. I did, however, achieve a farmer’s tan and a good workout. I was careful to sort out all the roots, weeds and grass that I could, because I knew I wouldn’t want to deal with them later, when I was eager to plant.
I threw the dirt clods at the wall of the shop/theatre/studio that blares music ALL. THE. TIME. It’s so loud that I can hear it inside my apartment.
It was quite satisfying. And with another three hours of digging, I had cleared all the garden space. I found that I actually really enjoyed digging. I’m sure it’s not fun when it’s 95 degrees out and you’re digging through hard ground, but I had a nice breeze and recent rain,s so the ground was soft. I was exhausted by the end, but I also had solid proof of all the work I’d put in, unlike when I trudge away on the elliptical.
The next day, we started planting.
I had originally thought that I would start seeds indoors, but we were out of town in March — prime time for taking care of the seedlings. No one would’ve been home to water them, move them into the sunlight throughout the day, etc. By now it’s already hit 90 degrees several times this year, so it’s kind of late to try starting plants from seeds.
We have okra (left) and banana peppers (we have a total of four of these; not sure what we’re gonna do with all those peppers):
There are baby peppers forming:
See the tiny white pepper bud in the middle? And of course we’ve got tomato plants:
There are cherry tomatoes, Better Boy, Cherokee Purples and a variety called Mr. Stripey. The Better Boy has fruit:
The others have blossoms but no fruit. My guess is that it’s not getting cool enough at night — it needs to get below 70 for tomatoes to form.
We’ve also got a couple of bell pepper plants (one kind is called Big Bertha; I totally choose my varieties based on how awesome their names are), a second okra plant (I wanted a backup because grilled okra is amazing) and pickling cucumbers. They’re in the corner so they’ll have room to spread out. The internet tells me that cucumber blossoms are edible, so I’ll have to call my gramma to find out which ones I can pick without damaging my cucumber crop (she makes pumpkin blossom fritters and they’re delicious). And there are zinnias planted in the spaces where the cucumber vines will spread.
I’m pretty excited for things to start growing. I’m totally creepy and go inspect everything all the time, and gloat over any growth. I’m pretty sure my tomatoes don’t need me to tell them they’re doing a great job, but maybe they like knowing that I’ve got their back?
This year’s garden is a lot larger, so I’ve given in and admitted that I can’t work in it in my flip flops. Look at my poor shoes:
I also learned that I must wear gloves while gardening. I got impatient with all the mud on my gloves and ripped them off on the last day I was digging/planting. This happened in under 15 minutes:
Peeled right off!