Wednesday, April 13, 2011

2011 - The Garden Strikes Back

My garden has always been around 60% successful at best. Last year I don't think it was even that high. I can usually eke out a bunch of peas and beans with no problem. Lettuce grows okay. Spinach is hit-or-miss - when I grew it in a pot on the deck it was fine, but in the garden it sprouted and immediately went to seed. I'm hit-or-miss on beets, too. They were terrific one year, then small and stunted the next. Carrots always end up stunted and misshapen, and we end up feeding them to the guinea pigs. Every attempt we've made at cabbage, squash, zucchini, watermelon and pumpkin has been an utter waste of time and effort.

Now, granted, I tend to lose interest in the garden, especially the hard part like weeding regularly. But still, I keep at it, hoping. Hoping.

This year, I'm pinning my hopes on the theory that the soil isn't being properly loosened and fertilized. Part of my rationale is from the beets, which did okay the year that the dirt was brand new, and less well the following year. But who knows, really? My neighbor down the street seems to grow all this stuff just fine in the same soil and weather conditions, so I'm going to follow her example and see what happens. I'm going to invest.

That's right - in an effort to ensure that my garden never, ever produces vegetables unless they cost orders of magnitude more than I'd spend for them in the grocery store, I'm going to pump more money into my garden again this year. I'm going to rent a roto-tiller for $40 and I'm going to buy a bunch of manure for... gah, a lot. When I priced it on Tuesday, it looked like I could easily spend anywhere from $50 to $90 on bagged manure. I'm sure there's a much cheaper way to buy it, I just don't know if I feel like hunting around.

So that's my target for this week - to get the necessary fertilizer and the roto-tiller, till the soil in the garden once to loosen it and then again to mix in the fertilizer, then plant my seeds. As god as my witness, I'll likely have no better luck this year than I've had before. We'll see.

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