Update on Gardening, 2021

The middle of winter seems to be my time for blogging about gardening.

This past summer, I took another step closer to my goal of being a competent gardener. I ask you to keep in mind that a single step doesn’t look very impressive on such a long path, especially when I’m starting out at a great distance from the goal. But every step in the right direction counts for something!

This year I made a raised bed, and started some plants from seed. I sowed the plants directly into the garden bed, and a lot of stuff grew! I even got to eat a tiny bit of it.

I was nervous that nothing would grow, so I tried broadcasting several kinds of seeds basically overtop of one another and waited to see what would grow. My great fear was that I would just have a box of dirt staring back at me all summer. That is no longer my fear!

Plenty grew. For the most part I had no idea what was what, so I couldn’t quite tell when anything was at the right age for eating. Except for the radishes. I caught a few radishes when they were at eating age.

I also tried leaving everything unwatered for a few weeks, once the plants seemed well established. I was out of town for that time, and so it seemed like a natural experiment to attempt. Although it was the very hottest part of the summer, everything survived except the peas. However, once I came back even the surviving plants were significantly less lush and strong.

And then we moved to a new house in the second half of the summer, so I had to tear out my ugly tangle of vegetation and replace it with some pretty potted plants to help our house sell. Thus the garden of 2021 came to an abrupt end.

I learned that I can trust the seeds to grow if I plant them at the right time, in a location where there is sunlight, and water them as much as they need. That will give me the confidence to try a more organized approach next summer. I also learned that overall the garden is pretty strong and forgiving of occasional neglect (though overall I was very consistent in caring for it this year, unlike the previous summer).

My hope for next year is to focus on a smaller list of plants and try to start getting good at raising them — perhaps kale and arugula, some legumes, maybe some potted herbs.

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