Hey guess what I figured out. You’re not going to believe it, but it’s true: If you put plants into dirt and water them, they grow! Amazing, isn’t it? How they do it, I’ll never know. I mean, come on, let’s see you turn sunlight and water into green stuff that you can physically touch. And eat. It’s incredible. Plants are a-ma-zing.
Well they are to me. See, when I was a girl, I had a horse, not a garden. Sure, there was that one summer when my dad rented a 6 foot roto-tiller for the tractor and drug it along behind the fruit trees to prepare the soil for a vegetable garden. And sure, I helped plant and harvest some vegetables. But really, the only things I remember from that time are some monster zucchini and a load of snake eggs unearthed whilst digging. Before a few weeks ago, I couldn’t tell a zucchini plant from a pepper plant, but now I’ve got both growing in my little garden plot. And let me tell you, zucchini is one beast of a plant. That sucker grew from the size of a softball to damn near three feet across in less than three weeks. It’s already flowering like mad and has apparently already had zucchini sex with itself, because it’s got four little baby zucchini. I mean, I knew this would happen at some point, but, gosh, they grow up so quickly!
About three weeks ago, I figured out that my graduate student housing complex has community garden plots. (!!) I emailed the powers that be and secured myself one. The next few days were spent doing the backbreaking labor of preparing the soil (by hand, alone) and that is some serious work. Especially with the heavy clay soil we have here. I can ride my bicycle for miles and miles, but I certainly discovered some muscles I didn’t know I had the day after I dug the garden. Did you know that you have little muscles connecting your shoulders to your chest? And apparently they are used when one digs. Good to know.
I’d been making a feeble attempt at growing tomatoes in containers on my patio, but the poor things were so sad. Just barely hanging on to life, getting all leggy in their quest for sunlight. The amazing thing is that they have managed to produce quite a good amount of tomatoes, considering their meager look, but they just weren’t happy. My dad helped me drag the two 300 lb tubs over to the garden area, where they’ll get more sunlight, so hopefully they’ll rebound from their sad state. In the meantime, the six plants that I have in my plot are absolutely thriving. Though they were planted late (July 3), San Diego has a warm fall, so hopefully I’ll be eating homegrown tomatoes through Thanksgiving and maybe even longer. *crosses fingers*
Left row, back to front: Burpless Cucumber, Zucchini, Red Bell Pepper, Red Bell Pepper, Chocolate Bell Pepper, Yellow Bell Pepper
Right row, back to front: Box Car Willie, Brandywine, Black Krim, Green Zebra, Tigerella, Tigerella (all tomatoes)
For now, I’ll just sit here and watch my garden grow.