Friday, May 13, 2016

how does your garden grow? no really, how.

I really want to have a garden. A successful garden that brings harvest! I’m not greedy, I will gratefully settle for enough tomatoes to get me through a week. Maybe a jalapeno? Basil? These are humble goals. These are goals that everyone says will be easy to accomplish. You’re already thinking that’s what you’ll say in the comments, aren’t you? I’m happy for you with your glorious plant pots coughELLIEcough.

I am jealous of people who can garden succesfully. In my book, Vianne was harvesting veggies from her garden and I had a pang of jealousy... for this starving woman at the brink of WWII with her husband and friends being hauled off by nazis. 

I have tried. Year after year I have tried, using myriad formulas and approaches both novel and benign.  It doesn’t work! No matter what I do or where I do it, it doesn’t freaking work. I can’t grow things. What is wrong with me?

Tomatoes and basil and jalapenos are the staples of my life. I buy these things in mass quantities, always eager to find the bounty that looks and smells and tastes like I grew it myself. And yet, I consistently did not.

Everyone grows tomatoes. Everyone is always humble bragging about how they have sooo many tomatoes, they don’t even know what to do with all of the fucking tomatoes they have grown without even trying. I just hang my head and wipe a tear and volunteer myself to take all of those pesky tomatoes off their hands. I literally will never have too many garden tomatoes.

Basil is my boyfriend. Name one thing that isn’t made better by adding basil. I buy those living plants at Trader Joe’s that they say I can keep alive and enjoy for ages, then I use all of the leaves for one dinner of favorite pasta. Know what else is in that recipe? Tomatoes (and garlic, duh).

Jalapenos are my side piece. Name one thing that isn’t made better by adding jalapenos. They elevate even the most mundane dish into culinary, mouthwatering bliss. I’ve tried seeds and starter babies and mature plants. It doesn’t work. My green thumb is broken.

What can I do? What am I doing wrong? Is this the year I will succeed? Should I invest in a shared plot at the community garden for a better chance? This is not a rhetorical question, you guys. What should I do?


Gardening in Central PA said...

Yes, you should! The benefit of the shared plot is that you will be surrounded by people who have success at growing things and they will help you...or just give you part of their successful abundance.
I can barely keep house plants alive and I'm grateful that my kids don't need watered, or things could be really sad around these parts...but I do have a successful garden. My secret? Marry a man with a green thumb and live where it rains.
Good luck! Can't wait to see the September post about what to do with all your extra tomatos!!

MB said...

Mark's my gardening guru, but I know he mixes some sort of fertilizer in the soil, and then lots of water. And hope for sunshine, which won't be a problem for you... Good luck girlfriend. You NEED tomatoes & basil & jalapenos in your life! xoxo

Me, You, or Ellie said...

I can take absolutely no credit for our glorious plant pots -- coughELLIEcough -- full of luscious tomatoes and jalapenos and habeneros. Zero. Okay, okay, Mistah sometimes asks me to water in the morning, if he's running late, and it's very lovely and Zen to do so, but that's the only credit I can take.

Your sister Julie asked Mistah for some advice whenst she emailed him for his bday. Would you like to hear how he responded? You would? Okay. Here's advice from 'Mater Mistah himself:

1. Buy the best soil.
2. Make sure the pots are large (they don't have to be gigantic, but they have to be big).
3. Water every morning and sometimes twice a day on the hottest days. Tomatoes in pots can dry out quickly.
4. As much sun as possible, and
5. Add some fresh soil on top of the pot (or a little fertilizer) about half way through the growing season to help keep the soil full of nutrients.
6. Hope for the best!

And, hey, if all else fails, Vons has a lovely selection of tomatoes this time of year.

Good luck, schnookie-pie.


mom said...

I'm no help at all, dad was the gardener, but even he didn't have luck with tomatoes. One year, Daisy, the dog next door, ate them all and that was it.
I have little sun where I live, so the farmer's markets are my best friends in the summer... Good luck baby girl...
love, mom

Beth said...

I find it so interesting that in all of these comments it is the *men* who are the gardeners!! Who knew? Although it was that way in my house growing up too. My dad was the gardener, and he had a big and bountiful garden that produced for many months of the year.

Me? Well you may remember seeing photos of our garden a few years ago? The one my mom and the girls planted? Well, left to me to tender, it all went to hell. I think we had two salads and some really bitter celery.

I decided to try flowers instead this year! You can't eat 'em (well not most of them), but they sure are are pretty to look at on your table when you're eating your store-bought tomatoes. ;)