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Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Most Pathetic Garden In Carver County and Maybe the Entire USA

And I'm only half-joking.

I have not had a garden, not even a potted once, since before moving to Lindstrom in the fall of 2008. The first year we lived in Lindstrom, I discovered just how shady it is in the midst of an oak grove.

The second summer we lived there, I was offered a garden spot at our friends' farm where we boarded Brigid.  I poured through seed catalogues, mapped out garden spaces, bought seeds and planned to start my garden under lights - one of my greatest joys of gardening. 

Then I was sent to CO for work for two weeks and, three months later and still in CO, had missed my opportunity to start any seeds at all.  Additionally, we moved at the end of that summer to the Little Farm.

So I had BIG hopes for my garden this summer.  It started off well, with four new Square Foot gardens, a new shelf for my lights, garden diagrams and planting schedules that encompassed seed-starting tasks once/week for about six weeks, ending right at the optimum time to put everything into the ground (and into pots) the end of May. 

I stuck to the plan for about five straight weeks. Sprouts were popping up like crazy, I had over 400 plants growing under lights!

What I failed to take into consideration when planning my gardening season were the following obstacles...

a. We'd be spending most weekends this spring traveling.  Some weekends we spent at alpaca-related events like shows and seminars, some weekends we were traveling to WI to look at land, and some weekends we were off visiting family in other parts of the state. I think we were gone about 75% of all weekends between March and May.

b. Sprouts under lights do the very best when Mama (or whoever the primary gardener is in the family) is there every day to care for them. As much as I appreciate my family's help in keeping them (mostly) watered, sprouts are tender things and they just need extra attention that is hard to generate out of substitute gardeners.

c. Just when my extraneous travel schedule quieted down, I took on the crazy idea that I should split my time every week between the Big Farm and the Little Farm, which resulted in my being gone from home 4 days/week, every week.  Needless to say, once again, the seedlings, still under lights, suffered a bit.  They needed to get in the ground in May. Most of them did not get in the ground until late June/early July.

By that time, some of them were so lanky and sickly looking I did not even bother, they just ended up in the compost pile. The few that remained I worked on shoving in the ground for several weeks in a row every (hot/muggy/buggy) Sunday afternoon as I was desperately trying to get all my stuff together to get on the road for my 4-hour journey to WI.

You know your garden is awful when your {very nice} neighbor {with her picture perfect garden} asks, and not sarcasticlly, while looking right at your plots, if you are going to put your garden in this year?


Like anything in life, that which doesn't get the primary focus suffers.  Except weeds, they seem to really love my extended absences.

What's happening in your garden this week?


Jess said...

I feel your pain. We're hardly ever gone, and still I struggled to get my garden in. I blame it on the weather and my kids. The best thing about gardening, there is always next year!

Victoria Strauser said...

That there is! That's what I tell myself, too!

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