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.
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!