Friday, August 19, 2011

Serious Gardening ROI

Everyone loves a good return on investment (ROI).  Myself especially.  Well, probably not "especially," just "as much as the next guy" more than likely.  I don't really think that I've got the market on wanting a good return.  Actually, I've got a kind of "easy come, easy go" type of mentality, so maybe I'm really not at all near the "especially" range.

Anyhow, I can appreciate when I get a lot of stuff for very minimal effort.  Like swag.  I love going to career fairs, because I just pick up all the stuff with names printed on it.  Chic-fil-A reusable shopping bag, sure!  BMW  pen/USB drive, thanks a bunch!  How does this tie in?  More in a moment.

This will most likely be the last post I write about gardening, because we seem to have come to the end of the garden.  It's going in a natural way, nothing abrupt or traumatic.  I came home from the North, and found that my tomato worms had developed a taste for sweet peppers.  Little *#&?@!, I don't like them at all, and I killed 2 the size of my thumb this morning.

The worms left my plants all nubby and forlorn.
Or wait, maybe I'm the forlorn one...
I've come to accept that this is the end of the road.  My lettuce has gone to seed, I've somehow managed to kill the zucchini plants, and the onions never really got off the ground anyhow.  We've had a good run, this garden and I.  School is starting, and its just the natural course of things that our Summer romance would come to an end.

The tomato plants are officially too big for their britches.
If you replace "britches" with "cages", that is.
There's a few fruits left, but I think its an over-abundance of N_2 that's killing our production here.
In case you wondered.

And that photo above brings me back to my point.  Let us discuss.  I've put hours of work into keeping those tomato plants thriving.  I've weeded (although not recently), watered, sprayed, plucked, defended, and built housing for the tomato plants.  We've gotten less than a dozen tomatoes out of them, and 3 had blossom end rot.  Its not an impressive showing.

Now, contrast that experience with the potatoes.  I dug, sure.  Then I planted a few rotten chunks of potato I had lying around.  There was some mounding of dirt.  I forgot to water them most of the time.  I didn't weed, or spray, and they were basically left to fend for themselves.  But what do I get for this less-than-modest-effort?

An embarrassment of riches.
25 potatoes.
Over 60 if you count the wee little ones.
I almost feel bad collecting such a windfall, after basically forgetting about them.
Apparently whatever didn't kill them made them stronger.
Really, its as though I won the Tuber Lottery, with a ticket I found on the road.
Pretty amazing.
Put me on that lottery winner recovery show.
Use these pictures as my application.
Word on the street is, if I set these in a cool dark place, they'll keep until Jesus comes back.
I'm not sure what He'd do with them, what with all the rapturing going on and whatnot.
I think I'll just eat them, save Him the distraction.
I'm overly pleased with this potato crop.  I planted 2, read it, 2 potatoes, and I got back over 10x that many.  These little red beauties have made a believer out of me.  I'm so excited to plant next years garden.  Its going to be even bigger and better!  I'm going to start planning it out, so I can get everything in the ground when its supposed to be.  We'll have red potatoes and yellow potatoes, maybe sweet potatoes, and carrots, and more peppers, and more tomatoes, and some beans, and the zucchini will grow and never die and... And I need to plan, because...

... the garden is going to be in a new place!  We're moving!!  We close on our new house at the end of September.  I know I should be worrying about packing and mortgage rates and furniture and a fridge, but I think I'd rather focus on the garden.  Its not practical, but its the route I'm taking.  We'll see how it plays out.

In love with tubers,


  1. @Melissa
    Well, I've never had a fall garden. What does one plant in a fall garden?


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