15 Jul

With a gluten free family, produce is a staple.  Produce is expensive.  I want to live frugally.  Therefore, if I want to feed my family inexpensively, I have to learn to garden.  Problem:  I AM TERRIBLE AT GARDENING.  My garden is pathetic.

I have tried to plant and maintain a garden for years.  Every year, I get just a few plants that actually produce. One year it was green beans.  One year it was tomatoes.  I had so many they rotted before I could get to canning them.  And this year, it is cucumbers and zucchini.

I live in an apartment, and you can sign up for a little 9 x 12 foot plot at the beginning of spring.  So I signed up for one, and did a few starters on my balcony.  When I planted them, they all died.  So I planted from seed in the garden.  I don’t think I spaced them right, and I don’t think I fertilized them enough, because out of the 30 bean and pea plants I planted, I have about 4-5 producing plants.  I planted some tomato plants, and they are starting to produce, but I think they are getting some sort of disease.  And I planted lettuce and spinach (several kinds) no less than 4 times, and never did any of them even pop through the dirt.

So I have to wonder, what am I doing wrong?  I weed (albeit not often), and I water every day (hmmm, well almost).  Here are some pictures of my garden after I weeded (actually I planted 3 gardens – 2 other plots were never used, so I “rescued” them).  Although can it really be called rescued?  Wouldn’t they have been happier in weedy oblivion?

I know, pathetic, right?  That half row of beans in the first picture, I actually planted as a whole row?  What happened to the other half of them, you ask?  I have no clue.  They just never came up.  Same seed packet. So in that huge blank space, I planted watermelons yesterday.  I hear they need a lot of water.  Good luck with that.

In the second picture, those are sunflowers in the back.  Then a (nonexistent) row of lettuce that never came up, then beans, and then (if you look really close) you can see the beginnings of cantaloupe.  Please, please, PLEASE grow!

Now for my success stories.  We are going to be eating a lot of zucchini and cucumbers.

I have 5 HUGE zucchinis on that vine, growing out of control, right now.  Why, oh why, cannot they come spaced apart a bit?  I think I am going to sell them at my upcoming yard sale this weekend.

And I won’t have trouble getting rid of how every many cucumbers that plant wants to throw at me.  Kayla could live off of cucumbers.

Now that you’ve listened to my sad gardening story, how about a little bit of humor?  All that money that my garden was going to save me, went straight to the doctor when I stepped on the sharp end of my rake (sitting spike side up, of course) which went halfway through my foot.  In my bare feet, of course, because who needs shoes around sharp gardening tools?

I’m about ready to give up, except who would water my cucumbers?


Posted by on July 15, 2011 in About


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2 responses to “GARDENING 911

  1. Shawna

    July 15, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    This isn’t really going to be that helpful for right now, but my dad puts black tarp down over his garden and then cuts slits for his plants to grow through. The weeds don’t grow and I think it probably traps the moisture in well. Did you till it before planting? I used to have a garden at my parents’ house when I was a teenager, and my dad always tilled it, which really turned up the soil. Then the roots were able to grow really well.

    You’d think in Lancaster you could plant anything and it would just magically grow, right?!

  2. glutenfreelyfrugal

    July 15, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    I DID till it (one of the very few things I probably did right), but the tarp sounds like a great idea. After the hour I spent yesterday yanking up weeds, anything to deter them sounds pretty nice right about now.


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