Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Gardening: The Best of Times

I love my garden.  I just do.  

I loved my garden last year, too, and it betrayed my love by growing diseased and yellowed and by not producing wonderful succulent vegetables like I hoped it would.

This year, as you know, I've got high hopes for my garden, what with the extra large plot of earth and whatnot.

The only problem with my love of gardening is that it is an uniformed love; I don't really know what I'm doing here, I'm kind of making it up as I go along.  And while that is often my strategy for trying new things, I have found it oftentimes unsuccessful where living things are involved.  

Take, for instance, my dog.

I've never raised a puppy before.  So, when we got the old boy, we signed him up for puppy training at our nearly-local PetSmart (this is not a plug.  PetSmart does not know me, except for Janice who was our puppy trainer.  And I think she only remembers my dog's name.  Which is fair, since I don't think her name is actually Janice, but I can never remember it).  Anyhow, what I'm trying to tell you is that we sought out an expert when we wanted to know how to raise a puppy, because he's a living thing and it would be terrible to fail at that.

Doesn't he look well-trained and nearly intelligent?
All that proves is that I'm a wonderful photographer.
Whether we did it correctly or not, he's survived and is moderately well-behaved.

So now I'm trying to "raise" plants in this garden of mine.  And I don't know that I'm any good at it, especially if you judge me by last years results.  I'd love to blame it on Handsome (its a hobby), but he's pretty hands-off in this area.  

So I'm going to show you my garden, and ask you questions about its health or lack-there-of, and you can help me raise it?  OK?  Consider this a dry-run for the day in the seemingly-distant future when I actually have to raise children.  I'm going to judge you by your responses here.

Here we've got my favorite picture of my Garden Photo Shoot, the Graceful Garlic.


I read that its a little late in the season to be growing garlic.  This guy doesn't seem to care.  I planted it with my lettuce, because I heard that garlic and lettuce are good co-habitators.  I suggested they just get married, but they say they're not ready for real commitment.  I don't see this relationship lasting past October, but they didn't ask me.  But how do I know when the garlic is ready to be pulled up?

And speaking of lettuce, here's my red-leaf lettuce.


Is this large enough to start plucking leaves off of?  Because I already did.  They're smaller than my palm... I'm thinking I may have jumped the gun when it took 4 of them to cover my sandwich.

Then there's this guy who seems to have jumped the gun himself, Mr. Red Bell Pepper 


He's not quite red yet, but He sure is getting large!

The onions are coming in nicely, as you can see here

Handsome thought I had grass growing up in my garden.  Tee-hee.
But in the space where I planted shallots, I have these popping up:


I know the picture is hard to see since its unfocused, but I'm thinking this is not a shallot.  Am I wrong?  What could this be?  I had cucumbers growing here last year.  Is this what a cucumber looks like?  I can't remember.

The final participants in the garden photo shoot are the tomatoes.  3 of the 4 plants are doing fine, but then there's this guy:


Now, I'm just spit-balling here, but I'm pretty sure the leaves are not supposed to look like that, for 3 reasons:
  1. Yellow is Bad, Green is Good
  2. Black spots mean a cold heart... or a fungus, I think
  3. Tomato leaves don't look like that.  Pepper leaves look like that.
So, is this a tomato plant?  Did I get jypped?  Its supposedly an heirloom type plant, but I've got an "old german" heirloom tomato plant, and it looks like a tomato plant.

Please assist this weary gardener.  I stay awake at night worrying about these things.

That is a complete lie.  But I would like some help!

Stumped in SC,
TFW

6 comments:

  1. Before you read my comment, let me first say that I don't know much about gardening, and that's a huge understatement. My experience in the "garden" was growing a cucumber plant from a McD's Happy Meal in first grade.

    I do know that if you give a child too much attention, you spoil it, and I imagine the same adage is relatively true for vegetables. It looks like you're doing a good job with mostly healthy plants, except for maybe that one tomato(?) leaf. My advice is to let the others do their thing as long as they stay healthy looking, and follow someone else's advice about the tomato(?) plant. And to keep taking pictures so we can garden vicariously through you.

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  2. I laughed till I couldn't see at this post. You just crack me up! I've only grown peppers, pumpkins, and gourds well. It looks like things are off to a good start for you. I'm envious that it is garden season down there!

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  3. @Jeremy
    But it is so difficult not to be out there, looking at them multiple times a day, checking if they're flowering, testing the leaves for ... I don't even know what. Handsome tells me the same thing, so its probably sound advice, but sooo difficult to follow :) I will keep the pictures coming. I'll bet you could grow some herbs out a winder or something down here...

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  4. @Jeremy
    But it is so difficult not to be out there, looking at them multiple times a day, checking if they're flowering, testing the leaves for ... I don't even know what. Handsome tells me the same thing, so its probably sound advice, but sooo difficult to follow :) I will keep the pictures coming. I'll bet you could grow some herbs out a winder or something down here...

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  5. @Take Nothing for Granted
    Well, if you came down to visit, I could put you to work in my garden. Or being in your delicate situation, you could watch me work in the garden...

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  6. Here's what I know: Your tomato plant is either sick or getting too much water/too little sun. Count it as a loss if it doesn't perk up. The 'cucumber' I'm not sure about. It's just a baby, but I know when they are grown, the leaves are not round but have jagged edges and they are prickly, not smooth. I'm not sure if garlic is more like onions, which you pick when you see them sticking out of the ground, or potatoes, which you harvest when the what's above ground turns brown and dead. You know, there's this new-fangled thing call the inter-webs, it's just chock-full of information on just about everything. I'll bet you could find some gardening information on there.

    ReplyDelete

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