Hey! Randy

In the Garden It Grows

Posted by heyrandy on June 5, 2008

I planted a garden this year.  I have done this in previous years, but last year I gave up and did not plant anything.  But the weeds did alright.

Planting a garden in a suburban backyard is not usually a big deal, but it is in my yard.  My soil is lously: it is heavy with clay.  This is about as bad as it can be.  I have tried to remedy the problem by adding organic matter, i.e., my yearly crop of mostly maple tree leaves.  I have some tall, old maples that produce an abundance of leaves.  This does not seem to have much helped.

My backyard is also heavly shaded.  It is those maple trees.  They both help and hurt the garden effort.  I am not about to have the trees cut down: I keep the dog tied to one of them.

I really don’t have a lot of space, but I don’t have a lot of enthusasim for the whole garden gambit.  I admit I am a bit lazy when it comes to gardening.  I would like to spend more time and money on the project, but I am usually short of both.  So the garden just grows by itself once I have done the preleminary work.

I would not have bothered to do anything this year in the garden, but a woman in my church asked if I would like some heirloom tomato seeds.  It seems that she bought too many different kinds.  Those seed catalogues can be dangerously seductive.  I said, “Yes,” and I started on another yearly effort at the unlikely to be successful endeavor of The Garden.

I started the seeds in Styrofoam cups.  I was going to buy those peat pots they sell to start seeds, but I just never got to the store.  Besides, the Styrofoam cups were here, and that meant that they were free, my kind of price!

The seeds eventually sprouted, and I transplanted them to the garden patch I had prepared.  I had to dig out the weeds.  With the wet clay soil and the tangled roots of the weeds it was not an easy task, but we gardeners are tough.  I persevered.  (It is the Calvinist in me! Remember, this site is also about Reformed theology.)

I had also thinned out the chives.  I had inherited some of these and had bough some others.  Over the years they just kept growing and spreading.  We have eaten some of them, but we usually ignore them.  If you can’t grow anything else, try chives.  They keep on coming back.  I mow them in the fall during my last mowing of the year, and they come back afresh in the spring.

I also planted some potatoes.  I wanted to plant some of those Yukon Gold variety, but the store I went to said that they transfered all their seed potatoes to another store because they potatoes were not selling at my local store.  I then went to the grocery stores and tried to find Yukon Gold, but both stores did not carry them.  I settled for Russets.

I bought two potatoes.  I chose the ones with the most eyes.  You just have to cut out the eyes and plant that piece, so it did not make any sense to buy a lot of potatoes.  (Did I tell you I was cheap?)

I learned this from my uncle.  He was a really serious gardener. (I don’t know if he was cheap.)  His garden was the size of my entire yard, front and rear plus both sides.

Now I just have to wait.  I am the only one in the house that will eat fresh tomatoes.  This means more for me, if we get any.

The potatoes are enjoyed by everyone.  In the past the crop has been a small number of small potatoes, but the real fun was that they produced anything.  This is the real joy of gardening.

Since I am growing only tomatoes, potatoes, and chives, I do not have to put up the fence to keep out the wildlife.  Potato greens are poisonous, and the the animals do not like the tomatoes.  The chives give them bad breath.

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One Response to “In the Garden It Grows”

  1. Doug said

    Thanks for sharing these valued garden thoughts, as the points resonated strongly with me. Keep feeding the creativity.
    I am currently travelling so, for this reason, I’ve nothing better to do than surf the web for gardening ideas, lie around and update my blog. I just added you to my Favorites. Looking forward to reading more from you.

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