Garden Confessions

DSC_0097True confessions – I have not yet started a single seed for this season.

That’s right. Here it is the second week of March and there isn’t any sign of potting soil, seed pots or grow lights.

Nada.

Nothing.

And what’s worse – I haven’t even ordered my seeds yet.

Nope.

Not even one.

Last year’s garden was such a dismal, wet disaster that it’s hard to think about starting again.

I worked so hard and got so little in return.

A year ago I was filled with hope and expectation – it was going to be the best garden year ever!

But rain and more rain and even more rain drowned most of the vegetables and my excitement.

The weeds and bugs took care of the rest.

Nope, not gonna do it again.

But it feels like spring.

The sun is shining.

The temperatures are climbing and the warm breezes are stirring something deep inside.

You know… it’s not too late to start peppers and tomatoes…

…they are forecasting an early spring…

…and I can’t harvest what I don’t plant.

Besides, what would summer be without fresh from the garden veggies?

Okay – where’s my Baker Creek Seed Catalog?

I hope the tam jalapeno seeds haven’t sold out yet!

Do I still have potting soil?

Maybe there’s a flicker of hope in this gardener’s heart after all.

 

Squash-kins and Other Oddities

SquashkinsRemember how desperate this garden season was? How it just kept raining and plants kept drowning?

There for a while I wondered if I would have any produce at all!

So when I noticed a few volunteer squash plants growing in the garden – I let them stay. After all, at least I would have something from the garden – right?

I knew better.

Squash likes to cross pollinate.

In the back of my mind I was remembering the volunteer squash a few years back that looked like dinosaur eggs and was quite prolific. It took years to totally rid the garden of that useless and ugly ornamental.

But I was desperate this spring and I allowed them to stay, mentally glossing over the fact that they would probably go rogue.

This week buddy helped me harvest these volunteers.

And they are interesting.

We have spaghetti squash like pumpkins.

Pumpkin like spaghetti squash.

And my personal favorite – sweet dumpling squash pumpkins.

They’re like a sweet dumpling on steroids.

We’re calling it a “squash-kin” and think it’s kinda cool.

They’ll sure make interesting fall decorations and some unique winter eating!

Maybe going rogue isn’t so bad after all.

Nothing Planted, Nothing Gained

SeedThere were no “ideal conditions” to garden in this year.

Our plan of action was to keep throwing seeds in the ground in hopes that something would grow.

So I sowed abundantly – despite the mud and the weeds and the nasty weather.

If I had veggies for every seed I put in the ground this year I could have started my own farmer’s market.

But many didn’t germinate.

And some of the ones that did were drowned out or overtaken by weeds.

But at least they had a chance to grow.

Unlike the many seeds still in packets that never even got planted, like the herb garden that never got expanded and the new flower bed that didn’t get dug up.

I had every intention of planting them.

But those seeds are still sitting here – at the end of July – with no chance of growing because they were never sown.

This week, as I worked my way through the forest of grass that is my garden, I thought of all the other “seeds” that I have not sown.

The note of encouragement that never got written.

The get well gift that never got delivered.

The offer of help that was never extended.

The word of counsel that wasn’t given.

The time in prayer that wasn’t taken.

The invitation that was never extended.

All those seeds that will never have a chance to produce fruit, because they were never sown.

Good intentions.

Noble thoughts.

Seeds of kindness and love and faith.

All waiting for ideal conditions that never came.

There can be no harvest when the seeds are never planted.

So I ask you – what seeds do you need to sow today?

And Hope Springs Eternal…

IMG_2665Just look at those veggies!

Aren’t they wonderful!

They would even more wonderful if I grew them.

Which I didn’t.

Some came from a local farmer’s market and some from my sister. (Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!)

It’s been a very discouraging garden year.

After our early success with kale and lettuce – we have had one disappointment after another.

Massive amounts of rain drowned entire crops.

More than once.

I’ve replanted tomatoes three times and the ones in the ground now are sitting in water after the heavy rain again over the weekend.

Cut worms devastated young seedlings.

Bunnies got through our bunny-proof electric fence.

And the things that did manage to grow were choked out by weeds that grew fast and furious because of all the rain.

We mowed the garden three times and just last weekend took the weed-wacker to it.

Yep. It’s been a rough gardening year here.

At times I’ve been ready to give up.

Then I think of fresh green beans and grilled zucchini and corn on the cob smothered with butter and a crisp watermelon fresh from the patch…

…and I go out and pull some weeds and throw some more seeds in the ground.

You never know – next week might be dry.

We might have a fabulous autumn!

Maybe we’ll have a late frost!

And hope springs eternal in the heart of a gardener.

 

Tender Transplants

I’ve spent a great deal of time digging in the dirt in the last few weeks.

I’ve divided African violets, re-potted house plants, and transplanted tender seedlings into larger containers.

Tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, cabbage, eggplants, cauliflower.

eggplant seedlingsIt’s a slow, meticulous and rather messy job,  but it does give one a great deal of time to think.

While my hands were covered in potting soil and I carefully moved the tender root systems from one container to a larger one, it suddenly came to me that I am in a transplanting season in life.

My kids are growing up fast and and leaving. They are being transplanting from our home to homes and apartments of their own.

They’ve outgrown their old lives just as my seedlings have outgrown their pots.

They need more room.

But, unlike my plants, I will not be the one to transplant my children. It’s time for them  to do it for themselves.

New jobs, new classes, new friends.

New problems, new responsibilities, new decisions.

On their own.

As I looked down at the tomato seedling in my hand and saw it’s fragile roots, I realized how vital a strong root system is to a plant.

How much more so for my children!

tomato seedlingsAnd my momma heart prayed, “Take care of the roots, children!”

Those precious roots that your dad and I have tried to build into your lives.

Roots that will anchor you in the bedrock of strong faith.

Roots that will help you stay strong when the world is storming around you.

Watch those roots!

Tend them carefully.

Water them.

Give them good soil.

Let them grow deep and strong.

Please children, hear your momma’s heart.

Take care of the roots.