First Garden Post-Mortem, Amateur Status Safe

The past few weeks have severely tested my newbie gardener perseverance, sense of humor, dedication, patience, hidden talent for recovery, and sense of humor. Did I mention sense of humor? Twice, eh? Yeah, I figured.

staghorn sumac after a royal cat-chewing

Staghorn sumac is broken a bit but even more determined to grow after having acted as a morning snack for Growler, our elder cat.

I may have hinted at a few of the challenges Gaia has thrown at my usually barefoot feet – climbing heat, choking humidity, winds that threaten to remove roof tiles, more humidity, cloudbursts (which should be welcome in this drought, but did not much more than hammer my outdoor plants into pulp).

First Garden Harvest Post-Mortem

I think we got a total of

  • five yellow squash, before the plants went belly-up and “icky,”
  • two Roma tomatoes, and we may get more still,
  • three scared-looking stems of parsley,
  • more basil than I’ll use this century, and
  • what may or may not turn out to be jalapenos.

The potato bin yielded two inch-long gutted shells of potato that were probably the thingies I planted to get potato vines. No taters.

The cauliflower produced a dozen Great Big Green leaves on rangy stalky stems – but nothing resembling any cauliflower I’ve ever seen.

The beefsteak tomato vines produced lots and lots and lots of vines and leaves, some flowers, no tomatoes at all.

The spinach plants produced strange Martian-looking weedy stems, each bearing one solitary anemic leaf. Well, it was called “Space Hybrid” after all.

The orange mint is doing fine. The more I ignore it, the more it grows. If I leave town for a week, it’ll co-opt the rest of the dining room and take control of the pantry before I return. This has nothing to do with my significant gardening skills, and more to do with the fact that this stuff would grow happily in the middle of the fast lane of the 405 Freeway if it had a chance.

The garlic produced nothing.

The clumping green onion produced about 6 clumpy stems without the strength to stand up on their own.

The tamarind trees are growing like they own the place, which they do.

The staghorn sumac is recovering from a morning of being munched upon by Growler, our older cat. Growler shows absolutely no sign of harm, despite being shrieked at to STOP EATING THE TREE! but since she’s nearly deaf of old age, she probably has no clue what I was yelling about.

Garden in my Future

One lovely big bright spot in all this was the arrival of the VegTrug which, thanks to very handy drill skills of my much better half, is now poised on the patio waiting to be scooted into position and filled with fresh gardening soil.

Yet the new garden a la VegTrug is going to have to wait until after Labor Day.

Albert Einstein once said, Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Does this mean gardening is an insane venture? Perhaps.

But this time I’m hitting Season Two with more experience, a bit more caution, a bit less raw enthusiasm, and a more refined sense of humor. Definitely got schooled by Mother Nature on this first time around.  I need to learn my lessons, figure out what went wrong with this first gardening effort. Stare at it like a crow on the fencepost, head tilted left then right.

Bottom Line

Next season: Fewer tomato vines (like NONE). More homework. Less chutzpah. I hear there are classes in gardening available online. Maybe I’ll go sign up for one. Maybe that’s not too much of a cop-out either. After all, one cannot be a Renaissance Woman without at least one compass.