When we first built our raised beds, I remember standing back and surveying the space we had to fill with plants and wondering if we had gotten ourselves in over our heads. Three beds? As we began to plant, my trepidation only increased. I had started so many little tomato and pepper plants, that I was quickly going to run out of space for them all. How was I going to find the time to care for everything like it needs to be cared for? I saw the neglect growing up around the garden before the beds had even been filled with life.
Two months later, there’s a little neglect. We don’t water as much as we should and weeding would be a lot easier if we tackled the little pesky plants every other day or so. But in the end, it turns out that gardening is not that hard. It’s kind of like babies, more robust than you might expect.
Our tomatoes have burst out all over the place:
They’re about shoulder height on a 5’3″ woman (uh, me), with dozens of tomatoes, both cherry and beafsteak, getting their start, and what looks like hundreds of flowers ready and waiting for their turns.
The peppers have fought against some difficult times and triumphed, already bearing fruit.
And my eggplant? Oh. I have no idea if I even like eggplant (these plants were gifted to us by our neighbours), but just for the flowers, these plants were worth growing.
Admittedly, we have one bed that doesn’t look so good.
Our lettuce has not enjoyed the heat. It has not enjoyed the lack of rain. It doesn’t take the neglect quite so well. Instead of filling out into useful bundles of romaine lettuce, our baby plants are choosing to bolt instead. A number of the spinach plants went to seed before they got big enough to eat. (Is it supposed to do that? I’ve never grown spinach before.) The lettuce is getting long and spindly, never standing upright properly. The few that matured well, that we ate, are growing back well, but I have have few hopes for the health of the whole two rows of leafy greens.
The carrots however, which are also in this bed? I have absolutely no concern for them. (Though, I think I had best get to thinning them this week.)
Last year’s garden was an after thought, an experiment. But this year? I think this year I can say it; I think I can claim the title. I am a gardener.