The garden is in. Spring has arrived. All is good. Not.
I think there is a conspiracy afoot that purposely sabotages my garden every year. I’ve had late freezes, droughts, heat waves and critters all wreaking havoc on my tender, little plants. This year the critters struck first. I put in my pepper plants with a handful of crushed eggshells in the hole. Something out there thought that egg shells would be a good treat. Four out of six peppers were dug up and destroyed. I found two upside down, but still in their newspaper pots. They’ve been replanted. They may not survive.
The next thing to hit was the weather. We had a heavy downpour the day after I put in my plants. Most of them came through, but the rain hammered the little zucchinis. One didn’t make it. The others look pounded but are hanging in there. I put more seeds directly into the garden to replace the lost plant. I’ll hope for the best.
If I had to survive on the produce from my garden, I would be much, much thinner. I hope the day never comes that I have to turn my property into a working farm just to survive. I won’t give up on growing some of my own produce. It brings me joy.
Since coming to Texas, I’ve been a complete failure at growing vegetables. Well, that’s not entirely true. I did grow a pretty good pumpkin a few years ago.
But, on the whole, my gardening has not been that successful. Few things I learned by gardening in other states seem to apply here.
The result is that a fear of the vegetable garden has crept into my heart. I’m determined to face my fears and charge head-long into the turbulent soil. I’m labeling this the “Year of the Abundant Zucchini.”
I started on the Texas Ag Extension website and their invaluable Vegetable Variety Selector. This is a great resource for those of us in Texas. Outside of Texas, check the listings of Cooperative Extensions Services at the USDA. I selected varieties that were listed as doing well in my county and purchased only those seeds.
It often gets too hot too fast here in north Texas and vegetable plants suffer. I’ve started things indoors before, but this year I am doing more. These little newspaper pots are easy to make plus they are nearly free. There are instructions here and here. Pick your favorite method and fold away.
Soil for starting seeds should be very light and doesn’t really qualify as “soil” at all. Again, there are a number of mixtures you can try but equal parts Perlite and peat moss works well. Once the time comes to plant outdoors, the whole pot can be put into the garden.
So, here are my little pots and my hopes for a fearless gardening experience this year.