How to Suck at Growing a Garden (Without Really Trying)

The photo below could be of Cthulhu’s long-lost terrestrial cousin or, perhaps more likely, could be the remains of my zucchini plant. It, along with cucumbers, flowers, and precious heirloom tomatoes, were bitten by the teeth of Jack Frost this week and never recovered. Nature, that brat, just loves to keep things interesting.

Frost-bitten zucchini plant

I’ve had a garden for four years and I’m still quite the amateur. However, I could turn pro if we’re talking about how not to grow a garden. So, without further ado, here are five tips on how to suck at growing a garden (without really trying).

1. Let healthy intentions, not reality, dictate how much to plant. This was the year you were going to eat a green salad every day for three months, wasn’t it?  And who doesn’t love zucchini bread? So why not plant five rows of lettuce and fifteen zucchini plants?  Besides, you should plant ten times more than you can ever eat because you never know what’s going to come up.

2. Plant everything at once. Some people advocate staggering their planting times so they have a steady stream of veggies ripening throughout the season. I say plant everything on the same day so you can get really sick of one thing before another thing ripens.

3. Pay no attention to growing seasons. So, you want to grow cantaloupe in North Idaho? Go for it!

4. Never check the forecast. Remain completely oblivious. It’s only September after all, right? The danger of frost is ages away. Weren’t you just complaining about the heat a week or so ago? The weather forecast is for people who have to drive in the winter, and that’s months away…right?

5. Let nature take its course. If by some chance you did happen to catch a glimpse of the weather report or some well-meaning friend or relative cautions you that it’s going to get cold at night, shrug it off and say, “Nature will have her way.” People who are actually good at gardening will tell you that the whole point of having a garden is to get closer to Nature, to work with her and coax out of her bigger, better produce. Nonsense! The whole point is to throw seeds into the ground and see what happens.

Every fall I declare, “I’m done with gardening!” Every spring, Mike gets out the rototiller and we go to town for seeds. I plant way too much of one thing and not enough of something else. I follow all of my own tips (except the one about cantaloupe) and the cycle of hope and despair continues.

How about you? Any tips on how to suck at growing a garden? Leave a comment!

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6 Responses to How to Suck at Growing a Garden (Without Really Trying)

  1. Sherry says:

    LOL,so funny !! I have many tips,like no weeding,divorce yourself from raspberries,plant blackberries that ripen in September and are lost to frost every year,only weed the flowers that feed your soul !!

    • Leanna Widgren says:

      I was going to include a tip, “Weeding is for Worriers.” I like the idea of divorcing yourself from berries. Those little dudes are tyrants. “We’ll be ripe for exactly 32 seconds – pick us now!!” 🙂

  2. Patrice says:

    Wow! I’m so sorry you got such an early frost! Ottawa’s first average frost isn’t for three more weeks, but I’m watching the forecasts, for sure.

    I also did a single planting this year. (can you say HUGE patch of arugula that’s gone to seed? Sure won’t have to buy those next year!) Really should have put a second patch of mixed greens in a couple of weeks ago–or maybe three. Ah well. Supporting the farmers’ market isn’t a bad thing, right? 😉

    Seems like ol’ God flipped the switch to Fall on Thursday, though. We’re definitely on the downhill run.

    Sending hugs to you, and looking forward to chatting soon!

    • Leanna Widgren says:

      Flips have been switched here for sure! Cold toes, cold toes, cold toes! 🙂
      Farmers market next year it is!

  3. Melinda G. Widgren says:

    One thing to say. We covered our cucumbers and squash plants and JF still got them! That dirty bugger!

    • Leanna Widgren says:

      Darn it! Nature’s a brat! Sorry to hear she got you, too, even when you didn’t follow Tips 4 or 5!