My 2020 Garden Mantras: Better Late Than Never And A Little Bit Is Better Than Nothing


seed organizer 

My goodness, it's been entirely too long since I've haunted these halls of the fabulous GRIT reader blogs. But I'm back and endeavor to be a regular around here.

My garden last year was an epic failure. I think it got too hot too soon and then the grass and weeds started growing with a vengeance. It’s like the garden was determined to return to a state of pasture. Ugh. I was so disappointed, but I have to say, I really didn’t miss standing out in 100 degrees with 85% humidity last summer to keep the garden watered. When this year rolled around, I wasn’t even going to plant anything. I found myself missing the whole process of starting little seeds, delighting when they sprouted, tending to them as they grew, and eventually harvesting the fruits of my labors. I always have such a sense of wonder when something that started out as a tiny little seed is now providing me with food to eat.

And then, enter a global pandemic. Dun dun dunnnn!

I started thinking that it might be a good idea to get serious again about growing some of our own food. Something. Anything. I was already late to get things started in our area, but I thought better late than never, and a little bit is better than nothing. Thus, those became my gardening mantras this year.

My “tomato fence” was still up in the “jungle” (aka garden), so I chopped and hacked enough grass and weeds out to plant green beans on both sides of the fence. I usually use t-posts and a stretch of 4 ft. welded wire fence for tomatoes, instead of tomato cages, tying the plants to the fence as they grow. It works WAY better for me than those cages. It’s also easy to water because I can water the plants on both sides from just one side. Anyway, back to beans. I usually grow Roma bush beans, but this year I decided to grow pole beans and let them climb my tomato fence since that was about all I could manage to hack clear.

5/19/2020 4:45:16 PM

Cheryl, welcome back. I too am a tad bit late with the planting but it turns out that was a good thing because we had some freezing temperatures right up to the end of the first week in May. I'm just now getting the tomatoes, sweet corn, peppers, and cucumbers planted. So it will be a little bit later harvest this year. As for changes during the pandemic, I am sort liking the slower quieter pace. I haven't really isolated myself at home but I have been working in the yard and garden getting long over due projects done. When I need parts, lumber, or refreshments, I go and get them. I have always been some what of a loner all my life so this quarantine requirement doesn't really bother me. It's given me time to consider just what I like and dislike about my old schedule. I would say there will be some changes when things lighten up. Here in Nebraska the restaurants are now open. Barbershops and hair salons are open. There's still no sporting events, theaters, or bars open. Some are having big time withdrawal from those entertainment venues but as for me I have not missed them. Many of the seed sources were way behind in sending out orders or cancelled filling orders all together because the warehouse people were all on furlough. It does seem like folks are attempting to have small gardens but without experience, I suspect they will not do well and give it up after this year. Growing a tomato takes way more time and effort than just going to the store and buying it. Folks are willing to give up taste and nutrition for convenience. I'll be watching to see how your come back is doing this year. Nebraska Dave Urban Farmer

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