Thursday, April 09, 2009

Gardening on faith and little sleep

I have planted a vegetable garden each of the five summers we've lived in our home. Looking back it's obvious that each year I've gotten a bit savvier about gardening. I learn new tricks, fertilize, prepare the soil and plan a little more each year. That doesn't stop me from having my annual garden freak out. I wonder, Did I get a bad packet of seeds? Did the birds steal my seeds or some cat poop in my soil? Do they need more water? Less water? Did I plant enough corn to cross pollinate? Is my soil too poor for my seeds? Will the time and money invested be equal to or less than what I would spend on produce? When, oh, when am I going to see any progress here?

All this and it's been only five days since I plopped seeds in the ground.

Adding to my anxiety are a dog and a toddler who like to dig holes in my raised bed. Being severely sleep deprived isn't helping either. This year, I fear, my poor plants may not stand a chance. And if we had to live on what I grow, we'd probably starve.

Last summer, Danny was around 18 months old and walking around in my garden, shaking leaves, snacking on green tomatoes and green peppers. This year, he's interested in doing everything that I do, exactly the way I do it and without my help. Today he helped plant seeds in the garden. We did peas, spinach, squash and zucchini. (All this was accomplished as Fiona slept in her car seat.) I put some seeds in, covered them, and patted the soil. Danny did the same and reached for more seeds, saying “Try it again, mommy.” Later, we watered. As he wielded the watering can and I tried to guide him, he told me “Don't touch it mommy.” He wants to do it himself.

Last year, he was marginally interested in the bugs, worms, birds and snakes that showed up. Today, he greeted a few worms (“Hi wormy”) and picked up a dead snake we found. And he often points out the robins that show up, saying “Robin red breast.”

My challenge in the next few weeks is to keep the little garden Godzilla from trampling on my beds before the plants are hearty enough to take it. That is, if the seeds come up at all.

1 comment:

The WilsonFam said...

brave mamam, i think i would get an anxiety atack just thinking about planting a garden. But on the other hand i seriously thought about getting a kitten i saw i advertise on freecycle. I hope all your veggies turn out wonderful!!!