I’m the type of person that freaks the heck out when I don’t notice immediate progress. It’s because of my inability to be patient that makes gardening very frustrating to me. If you’re going through this too, remember that just because you planted a seed, doesn’t mean it’ll sprout the next day. Gardening just doesn’t work that way and you’re gonna have to get over yourself if you want to enjoy it.
In order to calm my personal anxiety when it comes to gardening, I plan a lot. I literally stand over the garden and mutter to myself about which plant will be replacing another, or what amendments I’ll need to add to the soil. I have so many lists of supplies lying around that my husband insists the house is a fire hazard.
But in the process, I have cultivated a very tiny garden. It is not perfect, at all. That’s okay, though.
I can’t currently afford a soil blocker, so I went ahead and started my seeds in some cardboard boxes. There are holes cut into the cardboard, because no matter what, the container your seedlings are in needs to be able to drain excess water. If not, your seeds and seedlings can drown. The soil itself is a local, organic garden soil. It’s fascinating to open it and see all the native bark pulp from the pecan and live oak trees that grow here.
When it comes to fruits and veggies, I have successfully sprouted a spinach, some carrot, and in the large cardboard box there are a few marigolds. I’m honestly just glad the seeds sprouted. That was truly the only goal I wanted to meet. In these 5 months, I already made so many mistakes but am thrilled to learn from them.
For example, the carrot I started in the containers were a pretty bad idea. While the seed packet indicated that carrots can be grown in containers, it seems the container I chose was the wrong size. Also, because I had neglected to thin the carrots, it turned into Battle Royal in those containers. Not a single little guy grew up to be a strong, but very traumatized carrot.
But, before the contestants wilted completely and were lost to the compost bucket, I had the bright idea of picking what did manage to grow. Carrot tops are edible and can be added to salads. Interested in this “new food” I had never even considered, I went ahead and picked out all the sprouts and froze them. I was delighted to learn that carrot tops (not the carrot itself) are a good treat to give rabbits as well. While this information will not become relevant to me for a few more years, I at least added some more great information to my future money-saving meat rabbitry.
Another hurtle I haven’t been able to skirt around is the dog. Capu loves digging into the dirt and has been trying to get to China recently. While it’s great for tilling (I guess?), he’s also ripping up the few sprouts I have. Because of this, my hoop greenhouse is not picture-worthy. I’ll have to till and redo the entire area. Gosh, we love that dog.
These past few months have given me the courage to try planting other Texas-tolerant veggies. I’m focusing more on partial-sun or shade loving plants this month. The Natural Gardener has a list of seeds to start in May. I compared this with shade loving plants and made a list of veggies I want to plant that share both characteristics.
- Malabar Spinach and New Zealand Spinach
- Summer Squash
After even more research, I bit the bullet and invested in a composting tumbler. I hope to be able to make so great soil and stop buying it from the store. The further I can get away from buying from the store, the better. Talking to Alex, we’re planning on also putting up a pallet garden frames and mounting old, broken skateboards to act as shelves for the starts. Heck, I might even build another composter outside of the one I purchased. Hopefully, I’ll get some of this never-ending list done on my weekend.
As always be kind, be tender to one another.