The idea of having a beautiful garden lush with edible and non-edible treats is both exciting and frightening. I have always had pots of herbs so figured, how hard could it be? Tell that to the fig tree my husband rescued from near death at our old place in Virginia. It turns out that even low maintenance plants need at least a little TLC.
Fast forward a few years and we are back in California. This is supposedly the land of “you can grow anything” so I figure if I can’t raise a decent garden here, I might have to toss in the towel.
A few hours of research and a couple spreadsheets later, I have an extensive 4-bed multi-pot plan for a full-fledged feed-the-family-for-months garden plan. Reigning in the urban garden dream, I settle for starting with one raised bed.
The hubby built this gorgeous bed for me and filled it full of beautiful dirt that my research revealed to be the perfect combination of soil and nutrients for sustaining plant life in a raised bed. The little man and I plant lettuce, onions, parsley, basil, mint, jalapenos, poblanos, tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, and strawberries.
Standing back to admire the fruits of my labor, I realize how anticlimactic the act of gardening is. If you require instant gratification, this is not the hobby for you. Every morning the little man and I head out to the back yard and give our precious plants a drink. I think I’m doing great until I notice that my basil (normally a no-brainer plant for me) is looking a little sad and my parsley has seen much, much better days. As if that wasn’t enough, the strawberry plants aren’t sprawling like the website said and 1/4 of their leaves are brown.
Depressed but undeterred, I continue watering my little garden. Like a completely sane and normal person, I also begin talking to them. I figure if nothing else works, maybe I can talk them into growing – I try positive reinforcement: “That’s a good plant. Keep on growing.” which is quickly replaced with desperation and begging, “just give me 1 freaking tomato!” Needless to say, I was beginning to think that tossing in the towel and turning the darn thing into a sandbox might be a better use of the wooden box.
On day one billion and three (that might be a small exaggeration, but it is an accurate description of how I felt), I decide to beg one last time.
“Aaaaaahhhhh! A tomato!”
Finally, after all that waiting, mother nature provided a small spark of hope that all may not be lost.
I bring my little man over and we marvel at the tiny little green bulb sprouting from the end of a branch. I honestly don’t know who was more excited – me or my toddler.
To add fuel to my excited fire, I notice … more tomatoes! There’s probably 6 or 7 already sprouting and I can tell that another 20+ are going to start popping any day now.
Walking around, it dawns on me that the lettuce plants have tripled in size. Aren’t they gorgeous?!
And check out my strawberries! At the rate I’m going, we’re going to have an awesome salad headed our way.
Sadly, my cucumber and eggplant plants aren’t giving me quite as promising vibes. So, I’ll continue to talk and beg and water in the hopes that they will eventually send their nutritious goodness my way. I’m also keeping my fingers crossed that the pepper plants share some of their fruit with our home.
Given this awesome progress, I have decided to have the hubby build another raised garden bed for me this weekend. At 8 months preggers, if I don’t get this thing going now, I’m not sure when it’ll happen.
Stay tuned for progress updates – you know, when I actually have something edible.
In the meantime, if you want a bucket, or 6, of lemons, let me know. We have two lemon trees that even my off-green thumb can’t slow down!