My Black Thumb
As I am a soon to be SAHM and about to be on a single income, I thought gardening might be a good hobby to take up. As part of my goal to try new things and embrace possibilities, why not? I mean I have RARELY had much luck in the area of gardening or plants, but if I could have a successful garden . . . the possibilities (and grocery savings) seemed endless.
You know those people who are seemingly born with a green thumb? The ones who can take a seed and turn it into a fern or a day lily? The ones who take in the shriveled up Ficus and resuscitate it into a lovely green and happy plant? Whose homes are always bursting with lush greenery and lovely flowers?
Yeah, that’s not me. Don’t get me wrong I like plants, I love flowers, but I do NOT possess the gift. I am the opposite of a green thumb—I guess you could say a black thumb. I have killed more plants than anyone else I know. If plants had a serial killer, I would be the most wanted. I have drowned cacti, parched philodendron, starved orchids, and made war on peace lilies.
However, this year is going to be different. This year I am going to have a successful vegetable garden. It might seem like a far-fetched dream for me, the destroyer of all things green, but I am confident that my luck is about to change.
The dream of a successful vegetable garden has been a long time in coming. Growing up, my Grandpa Jim had the loveliest garden. I can still taste the freshly plucked tomatoes. My Grandma Isabelle concentrated more on flowers than veggies. She had several rows of potted African Violets in her window that she cared for lovingly. Over the years I had tried to keep a potted African Violet alive (among other things) and failed.
Some success . . .
Two years ago, my husband and I bought our first house. It has a huge backyard and a ready-made garden. My sweet hubby made me beautiful window boxes for Mother’s Day and I tried my very first novice attempt at actual gardening. It was a moderate success with the window boxes. I bought nursery plants and watered them diligently. They survived (well, most of them) for the entire summer.
Unfortunately, the backyard garden was less successful. My first attempt at starting seeds failed after I accidentally cooked them in the green house. The second batch was neglected when I traveled out of state for my brother’s wedding. So, I was left with no choice but to start them after Memorial Day right in the ground. I live in a high altitude (7200 feet) area with low rainfall, high wind, and a short growing season, so gardening is tricky to begin with and nearly impossible if you don’t start your seedlings indoors. I did get a decent lettuce crop, some chives, 3-4 zucchinis, a handful of wax beans, and one pumpkin that never turned orange.
This year I am being proactive. I have a plan. I will succeed. The first step to my successful gardening endeavor is joining a garden club. My local garden club is an entertaining and adorable mix of middle aged to elderly gardeners—most of whom are highly experienced. My dear friend Britt convinced me to join because she is A) super-social and outgoing and B) a borderline homesteader (she has chickens). I am neither of these things, but I went along anyway.
My first Garden Club meeting was very pleasant. First, heard a local agronomist and entrepreneur speak about his fascinating hydroponic food production company. Next, there was a discussion on whether or not the Garden Club should become a true non-profit. After that, plans were laid for the Garden Club’s upcoming plant sale. Finally, We had delicious homemade treats and punch. I am hooked. I will go back. I left feeling inspired and also daunted. If you are a novice (or experienced) home gardener, I would highly recommend checking your local Facebook groups, greenhouses, maybe even the library, to see if such an organization exists in your area.
Want more? Keep reading here: Black Thumb Diary of A Wannabe Gardener, Day 2 – Making a Plan
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