Remember how last year I attempted gardening for the umpteenth time and ended up with approximately 3 green beans, a hot pepper, and some gourmet lettuce? And remember how I lamented my distaste for gardening? And remember how this year I was possessed by a gardening demon and was all gung ho, sporting my farmer's tan and all, and was sure that THIS year would be different? THIS would be the year that my garden earned me a spot of honor in the Garden Club of Iowa. Remember that? Good times, good times.
This year was gonna be different. I spent hours during the long, harsh winter, researching and dreaming of the grand garden of 2010. I had it marked on my calendar..May 1st "Garden Day", as everything told me that's when a garden should be planted in our "zone". See, I even learned things like "planting zones" and harvest times. I was ready...or so I thought. GI Joe and I decided that we'd go bigger this year, what with all the produce we were going to grow, we'd need more room. Smart move..or not. We spent HOURS and HOURS on that sunny first Saturday in May tilling, planting, watering, prepping that patch of land for the vast amounts of fruits and vegetables it was sure to yield us. I even got a farmer's tan and blisters on my hands so you know I meant business. I lovingly made a spreadsheet (shocking I know) of everything we'd planted and its location in the garden and made adorable little stakes w/ the name of the plant and how many days til harvest on it. It was a proud moment. The first few weeks we watered it religiously, back before Mother Nature took over in the precipitation department and we constantly checked for weeds. We triumphed over every single sprout that popped thru the dark earth. It was a special time here at the Koons Zoo. Here's a list of what we planted: strawberries, jalapeno peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, bell peppers, cherry peppers, carrots, radishes, rhubarb, potatoes, gourmet lettuce, wax beans, peas, lima beans, rosemary, basil, cilantro, parsley, tomatoes (only one plant given our entire family's dislike of them), sweet corn, zuchinni, onions, green beans, cantelope.
Sounds delish and totally doable right? Look at all the potential and you're not even seeing the whole of it.
Once upon a time there was some cauliflower....
By the first of June, there was so much standing water in the garden that we needed to shop vac it out, so that was strike 1. Strike 2-apparently all the compost we'd put on it to fertilize worked wonders...ON THE WEEDS. And theY spread so much and so fast, it was a never ending battle trying to stay on top of them. Strike 3, leaving the garden unattended for 11 days while we went on vacation. I think you can imagine what happened. It's not pretty, tis not pretty at all. The weeds have gotten so bad that I can't even find my cute little markers to know where things are supposed to be. Not that there's much of anything still there since the weeds have choked the life right out of them.
Tonight, my friends, I'm waving the white flag of gardening surrender. I gave GI Joe the go ahead to take the weed wacker to the jungle, formerly known as The Garden. But rest assured it's not a total loss. Out of all that was planted, we still have (and can get to) sweet corn, tomatoes (which again we don't even like but I felt obligated to plant them because what kind of garden doesn't have tomatoes?), rosemary, basil, gourmet lettuce, and carrots. Oddly enough, the lettuce, the one thing you can't freeze or can or do anything with except use immediately is THRIVING. Figures. Also, between us, sometimes its really hard to tell "gourmet lettuce" from certain types of weeds and/or grass so I may or may not have accidentally fed my family weeds and grass with their gourmet lettuce. Oops. The corn is doing pretty well except the horses have discovered that if they lean their heads over the fence far enough they can munch on it. We knew to be worried about deer getting into the corn but who knew horses enjoyed this savory treat even WITHOUT butter? Gasp.
So next year my dear readers, I'm asking ONE thing of you. Please, PLEASE when winter starts drawing to an end and thoughts of fresh vegetables dance in my head and Pioneer Woman starts talking about her fabulous gardening tips, all I ask is that you remind me of the Garden Disasters of 2010...and '09....and '08..and so on. And reassure me that I can still be a farm girl even though if we had to live off the land we'd die. Deal? I just can't do everything I guess. But while I may be a fail at raising green beans, I am a natural at raising this....
City girl + country boy + lil piece of land = high maintenance hick (me). We have 3 crazy and wonderful country bumpkin children, Dakota, Blade and Ryder. We live out in the boondocks on an acreage that we call Koons Zoo, because it's filled with various animals that are strictly for our petting pleasure and entertainment. Needless to say there is never a dull moment!