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The Garden of (in)Sanity

June 25, 2013

Since insanity is supposedly doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, I decided to attempt sane gardening this year.

Stop snickering, for pete’s sake.

I don’t have loads of stuff.  Four tomato varieties, three of them in self-watering containers and one in last year’s recycled Topsy Turvy.  Four jalapeño plants, because you just can’t have enough jalapeños.  Ok, maybe you can, but at least they look pretty before they turn red and rot on the vine, and besides, the seedlings came in a four-pack and it would be inhuman to just let them die, now wouldn’t it?  A few mystery pepper seedlings pawned off on me from my over-enthusiastic neighbor who started a ridiculous abundance of plants from seeds (one might be a Scotch Bonnet– wheeee!).  Some basil, oregano, thyme, chives, and rosemary.  All in all, a nice little container garden on my deck.

This year I heeded some research advice I compiled during the failures of the past few years.  First of all, absolutely no fertilizer in the potting medium for the tomatoes, and no moisture retention formulas.  I added some cornmeal to the mixture, though probably not as much as I really should have, but I only had a partial container left in my pantry.  The peppers and the herbs got the fertilizer/moisture retention mix because I already know they thrive well with it, unlike the tomatoes.

The usual villains have already shown up.  Today a fat frizzy-tailed rat hopped up on the deck and sprawled across the railing as if he was waiting to be served a fresh salad.  Rotten animal.  And then as I was inspecting my tomatoes, I saw a truly devious little critter.  You may be small, Mr, Caterpillar, but we both know you can eat 6 times your weight in about an hour.  I served him a nice dusting of Di-pel powder, and hit all my other plants with it too while I was at it.  I may or may not have danced around laughing maniacally while singing “Die! Die! Die!”

I am really hoping that this year I’ll score some decent tomatoes.  I’m a bit concerned that I forgot to boost the growing medium with calcium, but I bought a tomato food that had calcium in it so maybe that will be good enough to prevent blossom-end rot.  Now, if I can just keep the squirrels, rats, and birds out of them….

Funny, they never bother my jalapeño plants.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 25, 2013 12:18 am

    Yep, I’m laughing. In respect, honestly. You just never give up…….every summer, you’re at it again. I admire that persistence! Love ya, woman!

  2. July 12, 2013 2:15 am

    i have a friend that has grown his tomatoes in upside-down, 5-gallon buckets for years now. mind you… it is not pretty, but he has some of the best backyard tomatoes that we have ever tasted.

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