Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I do this every time...

Stupid gardening. I have $100 worth of stuff in my virtual cart at burpee.com, I'm researching grow lights, and I'm thinking insane things like, "I could put raised beds along the cul-de-sac side of our yard, which would keep Max out of them (because it's outside the fence) and I could grow all of our food for the next year!!"

Nevermind the fact that I know nothing about canning or preserving (nor do I have anywhere to store a ton of canned and/or preserved food). Nevermind that I can't even grow flowers, much less food that won't kill us. Nevermind that I'm pretty sure it would look totally stupid to have a garden on that side of the house. Nevermind that I don't even really think I like gardening very much (Hello. Bugs.)... I just can't have a couple of stupid tomato plants. I have to have an expensive, overwhelming project that I'm going to hate in a month when it's too much work. Then I'm going to have an eyesore when the whole thing dies (after attracting every critter in a 30 mile radius, of course), and goes to seed.

No, Amy. No, no, no. Thou shalt not. Just be happy with your 25 stupid cherry tomato plants and your 25 stupid zucchini plants that you're starting from seed. Only half of those will live to get planted outside (if that). And only half of those will survive, leaving you with a reasonable number of actual plants (6 or 7) to get actual tomatoes and zucchinis from. Do NOT start some factory-farm-in-the-city operation that is going to make you hate life all summer long. Because you do this every time (see also: the guitar you never play, the sewing machine you never use, the paints that were never opened, the multiple containers of scrapbooking crap that's collecting dust...). Buying the stuff and dreaming about what you could do is what you're good at. Actual implementation is not your bag. Chill.

I got a packet of flower seeds for the front, a packet of herbs to do a manageable 3 foot container herb garden, and the aforementioned tomatoes and zucchinis, and IF all goes well this year, and IF it doesn't all die immediately, and IF I don't hate life until the first frost when I can quit babying the garden already (because, really, I need something else to take care of...), then maybe we'll think about expanding my little garden empire in 2009. However, this is not the year of the giant garden. I must show some self-restraint (for a change).

This is the year of the manageable garden, and the year of not screwing myself over.


Chicagoland Mamacita! said...

BTDT. Totally.

I started seeds one year, nurtured them in little peat pots, patiently waited for them to grow into robust little beings...and you know what? They never looked that great. Half died before planting, the other died after planting.
The following year, I bought ready-to-go plants from Home Depot, genetically engineered to be huge, mutant, pest-resistant veggies, and they did much better. Yep - GMO, with all of its moral dilemmas, seemed to be the ticket. Sigh.

Heather said...

Amy, one zucchini plant will be enough to feed your family. Seven zucchini plants will cause you to annoy your neighbors when you ask them for the fifth time to PLEASE take some zucchini off your hands.

It's a Jewish plant - "no, no, here, eat some more, you're too thin, really"...

I will say that zucchini bread tastes a lot like banana bread to me.

Also, it's nice to know that I'm NOT the only human on the planet whose ideas are bigger than her willingness/capacity to bring to fruition.

Anonymous said...

Amy, you probably don't want more than 3 tomato plants. My parents grew cherry tomatoes the past two years with 3 plants. It was enough to feed them, myself and Tim, and the neighbors. At their peak, you may be picking a few dozen or more a day.

Happy planting :)

Rob Monroe said...

Zucchini grows wide, just as a heads up. I have done pumpkins the last two years. I like them because they are low maintenance. We keep talking about doing other veggies, but our farmers market is just too good to us to try growing too much.

Good luck!

Shawna said...

I wish I could remember where I read this, but a writer from a small town once made the statement that the only time people locked their cars at the church on Sundays was during zucchini season... to stop people from sneaking zucchini INTO their cars.