Hell of a Guy
I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them - Isaac Asimov

Monday, July 04, 2011

Garden, Circo 2011…


In the early spring of 2010 I doubled the size of my garden.  My first attempt at gardening in 2009 with a garden 16’X24’ was a huge success.  So much so, the idiot that lives within me decided it would be a wonderful idea to double the size of the garden.  Sometimes good ideas can go bad, if you know what I mean?


The Nancy and I enjoyed the 2009 garden’s bounty, and even shared it with a lot of people we know, so making it larger seemed like a “smart” thing to do.  Now you have to understand that out here in the bucolic countryside where the deer, groundhogs and rabbits roam, just turning dirt does not a garden make.  An eight-foot tall fence surrounds the garden to keep the critters out.  The additional 16’X24” came with a cost of about $1000, and with that added to the cost to establish the original “Garden of the Year,” I now have a significant investment in what has become 768 square feet of a weed forest.


You have to realize I grew up in Baltimore, a pure city boy through and through. While my dad always had a garden in our backyard as I was growing up, I did not participate in its maintenance.  I truly had no idea of how much work is involved in gardening.  I thought you stuck the stuff in the ground and watched it grow.  In the vernacular of the day, gardening is a bitch.

The 2010 edition of my garden was not nearly as successful as the 2009 one.  We had a mini-drought here in Beautiful Downtown Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, population 624, and had no appreciable rainfall for about three months.  The topsoil I spread in the garden developed a hard crust that was almost bricklike, and a lot of my plants succumbed to the effects of the weather. The surface of the garden was hard as a rock.

In May I brought in 400 pounds of cow crap and a couple of large bails of peat moss and spread both over the garden.  I took my tiller up there twice and turned the soil.  It looked good and I thought it was ready for planting.  Planting took place during the second week of May.  I sowed tomatoes, corn, peas, Brussel sprouts, eggplant, spring onions, yellow onions, red onions, herbs, radishes, lettuce, peppers, along with two types of cucumbers, green beans, zucchini, yellow squash, beets and cabbage.  Then the rains came. 

One gardening error I made became immediately evident as a torrent of water fell from the heavens; I had not drawn a map of where I planted what.  This was a huge mistake.  My neat little rows were gone.  In there place were numerous puddles with various types of seeds floating in them as they huddled together in little groups as though they were attempting to save themselves from drowning.  Garden, circa 2011, ain’t a happening place.

Something is very wrong in the garden this year.  I don’t have clue as to where this infestation came from, but the garden is being taken over by weeds of a wide variety.  Most of whatever the hell this stuff is was not there last year or the year before.  I have spent numerous hours in there pulling and yanking weeds. And the fact that the rain discombobulated my nicely laid out garden has not in any way, shape of form has helped.  Being the gardening expert that I am, I was for a while not sure what was veggie and what was weedy?  I know I have removed at least 200 pounds of nasty weeds from the plot.  Something is radically wrong.

As I drive around the county I see lots of gardens.  I see lots of beautifully laid-out gardens that appear to be completely devoid of weeds.  What the hell am I doing wrong?  It almost makes me want to pull down my garden and just visit the local Farmers’ Market for my produce as I need it.  But, alas!, I am a trooper.  I will muddle on, and hope for the best.  I will pull weeds and pull more weeds, and do what I have to do in order to maximize the yield, praying all the while the harvest will just not be a ton of inedilble weeds.

As an optimist I must not become discouraged by itinerant flora and fauna.  I have to look forward, I have to think 2012.

And that is all I have to say about that…

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