Fruitless Gardening

16616825063_faed8e4cbfWhere I live, this is the week they tell us we can put plants in the ground. Any sooner and frost could kill them; any later and we might not get a harvest before frost comes again. It’s just too much pressure.

I come from a long line of plant whisperers, people who merely by walking past a plant can cause it to flourish. My grandparents grew exotic vegetables in the manicured backyard of their upper-middle-class home. My parents own an organic farm where lush veggies burst from the soil like dolphins leaping out of the sea.

Me? After years of trying, I just yanked out my vegetable garden. Anything alive when it comes home with me from Home Depot will struggle valiantly before realizing that resistance is futile. I’m the only person I know who can kill a hosta.

Every year it’s the same: add stuff to the raised bed to improve the soil, plant the veggies, water, weed, and get a few shriveled tomatoes who need to be put out of their misery. I’ve tried Miracle-Gro. Compost. Chicken poop. One year I even drove home some manure from the garden center. If you know me, you know this was a sacrifice because heaven forbid anything leak and cause a permanent stinky stain in the minivan. We would have had to get rid of the car immediately.

One year my mom, the plant expert of experts, was visiting at planting time. I thought this would finally be my Year of the Garden. The plants sensed they were being handled by an expert and sank into the soil with happy little sighs. I don’t blame them for the panic they felt when my parents drove away and they realized they were stuck with me. They descended into despair which ended as it always did: lifeless stalks which had to be put out of their misery.

I’m clearly the black sheep of my gardening family. My sister built her own gorgeous raised vegetable beds; my brother did his own landscaping. Other siblings grow entire crops in pots on their porches. The gardening gene didn’t just skip me; it ran away as fast as it could.

All is not lost, though. I’ll be at my local farmer’s market every week this summer, buying up all the gorgeous veggies and fruits I can find. Farmers need buyers, right?

The other day I saw some lovely lavender plants. There’s a perfect spot right next to the garage. All I have to do is get the plants in the ground this week… right after I rake up the soil and add some compost or manure or chicken poop. I’ll need some more Miracle-Gro too, and I’ll have to organize my days around watering and weeding. But that’s ok; I just know it will work this year.

Photo credit: <a href=””>Whatknot</a&gt; via <a href=””></a&gt; / <a href=””>CC BY-NC-ND</a>


2 thoughts on “Fruitless Gardening

  1. I sympathize. What you don’t mention is every activity, whether it is watering, changing soil composition or fertilizing can be under or over utilized. It might be the gender issue as everyone knows men are so detail oriented. Haha.


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