Garden Party

Unfortunately, I have recently come to the conclusion that I like the idea of gardening more than actual gardening. I don’t know why this is only a recent revelation because the blatant indications that I am not as enthusiastic a gardener as I imagine myself to be have been evident for some time. Like, for example, the fact that I don’t often plant things or weed things or even water things. But that did not deter me from creating a vegetable garden this year, or at least a plot of land where theoretically vegetables could grow if they decided to but so far the garden jury is still sequestered.

I am told (by the back of the seed package) that lettuce and spinach are a cinch to grow and are so prolific that you can manufacture several crops a season. Except if it is too cold, too hot, too wet, or too dry. Oh, and unless there is nothing around that likes spinach and lettuce sprouts (which is apparently anything that breathes). But so far no worries about unauthorized scarfing of al fresco salad because of the thousands of seeds (or maybe just hundreds – they are too small to count accurately) I have planted in tidy rows, not a single one shows signs of ‘leafage’.

The beans, on the other hand, are showing some promise although I have just jinxed them by saying that out loud. In case you didn’t know (and I certainly didn’t) bean seeds look exactly like dried beans. I mean like the kind of beans you make baked beans with, something I find a little disconcerting because this must mean whenever you eat baked beans or black bean soup or chickpea salad you are eating scores of proto-bean plants. And remember your mother telling you not to put beans in your ear (because really, isn’t every child’s inclination to put beans in their ear)? Based on my bean plants, you probably really would have had leaves growing out of the side of your head if you hadn’t toed the line on that one. Just sayin’.

I also planted radishes. I don’t know why because I don’t really like them, so of course they are coming up really well. The seed man says you are supposed to thin them out when they get a few leaves on them, but based on other progress I figured I’d never get to that step. So imagine my surprise when they all popped up hale and hearty the other day. Of course about nine tenths of the way through the thinning (and flinging of the ‘thinage’ towards the edges of the back forty) I realized what I had was ‘radish sprouts’ and not just radish sprouts but the organic kind that cost about $12.95 for a handfull at Whole Foods. Never mind.

Anyhow, as long as the rain does the watering for me, the forest critters do the thinning for me and the plants grow higher than the weeds I think maybe I’ll ace this gardening thing. And maybe I’ll learn to like radishes.

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