Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My Garden

This year is the tenth anniversary of my garden at this house. I didn't realize I had been doing it for so long until a few weeks ago, when a friend asked how long I've had a garden.

Would I consider myself an expert at gardening? Not really. I don't test the soil for pH levels or carefully measure out the correct rate of fertilizer to apply. I don't pull out as many weeds as I should. Occasionally I'm too lazy or forgetful to water the plants.

I like plants, though, and I think they like me back. As far as groups of organisms go, I'm more of a plant person than an animal lover. And your typical animal lover almost certainly doesn't like the same animals that I do: I've always found the most interesting animals to be things like worms and fish. Now if only more people shared my interests....

I tried out a few new things this year. I expanded the garden, which was a lot of work but easily worth it. It's still a little on the small side compared to most people's I think, but I'm happy with the results I've gotten this summer. I also decided to try my hand at growing zucchinis and watermelon. To my chagrin, the zucchini turned into a plant monster and took over a large section of the garden and even part of the lawn. It's been putting out zucchinis nonstop, which is unfortunate, since zucchinis aren't really my favorite vegetable. I guess I was a little too successful with it. The watermelon, on the other hand, did well the first week after transplanting before nearly dying, but has made a good comeback. It too is spreading all over the garden. Unfortunately, since it lost about a month recovering, I'm a little worried the watermelons won't be ripe in time before we start having hard frost in October.

In addition, I have yellow tomatoes growing, along with strawberries and several herbs: spearmint, sage, garlic chives, and cilantro. The tomatoes are doing well, except for a few slug attacks. I have a few ideas to keep them at bay. The herbs never seem to need help from me, just the way I like it.

Why do I have a garden? I'm not entirely sure. After all these years, I still haven't been able to come up with a good response. I guess the best I've been able to come up with is that I want to see the fruits of my labor, literally. It's not every day you get to eat your own work.

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