Grow, grow, grow…

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According to Penn State University, the theory that plants can actually benefit from humans talking to them was first published in a book from 1848, written by a German professor named Gustav Fechner. Since those early days, many more books have been written about the idea of plants responding to sound stimuli.” –

I gave my tomato plants a pep talk before i left for work this morning.

“This is your first day outside on your own! Take care of yourselves, stay in the sunshine when you can, enjoy the rain-even if its cold, it’s good for you. Rest and let your roots get used to your new space, spread out when you are ready…mostly just enjoy the day and grow.”

I provided the introductory quote above, just to show that I am coming from a place of research and science, a place of proven experimentation and success…when I tell you about my garden.

When I was a child, we had a huge (read “football field size”) garden. Millions of tomato, potato and cucumber plants, peas, beans and green peppers. It was hot, never-ending and dirty. I don’t think I appreciated the fresh vegetables, being a kid and all. It just seemed like it was one more thing on my chore list before I could “go to town”. I don’t remember another garden until the Mound City farm. And Dean was a fastidious gardener, still is. If you didn’t do things his way, he would rather do it himself. That was fine with me. I had childhood garden issues.

So here I am now, with this backyard at my awesome little house…I’m a vegetarian, so a garden would be a good pastime, I reasoned. Off I went to Menards to buy seeds! As I wandered the towering aisles in the “garden center”, I was stunned at how serious this seemed to be, there were bags of fertilizer, peat moss, bone meal, sprays, special tools..I mean, really…you put some seeds in the dirt, you put some tomato plants in there and call it good, right? I have never gardened solo, but how hard can it be?

I got my seeds, and picked out a half dozen tomato plants. Then I realized I would need a shovel, since I seem to lack a rototiller. And some gardening gloves…pretty green ones. Maybe some of those solar lawn lights…oh, look at these pretty paving stones…getting out of the garden center was harder than getting in.

I dug up a small plot of lawn in my yard, let it sit for a week for the grassy clumps to die. In the meantime, I watered my 6 tomato plants and set them by the window in the kitchen.

Yesterday, during the short break from the rain, I took my plants outside. I then remembered a lady from my yoga class said that tomatoes grow better if there is a half an egg shell in the hole. So back into the house to break 3 eggs in a bowl and take the shells outside. I planted the plants, one at a time, digging a hole with my hands, dropping in the shell, and the pulling the plant out of the plastic container and setting it in the hole. I carefully piled the dirt in the hole, patting it gently around the base of the plant. I put a bottomless cardboard milk carton around each, for extra protection from wind and hopefully, rabbits. I have one in my yard. I planted a row of marigolds on either side of the tomato plants. I heard they are natural insect fighters for the garden…and they are pretty.

Long after they were safely in the dirt, I kept returning to the window, to look at my plants…just wondering how they were doing. I wondered if they were growing yet. Before bed, I checked to see what the temperature was supposed to be overnight. I worried about them freezing. Wondered if I should go put a plastic bag over each for nighttime… I wondered if when they were at the garden center at night, did they stay outside in their little container or did they bring them in. I mentioned this to them briefly when i checked them before bed. This morning, I checked the temperature again…all was well, only got down to 42 degrees.

As I got in my car to go to work, I was thinking gardening is a bit like being a parent…or a good friend…

“This is your first day outside on your own! Take care of yourselves, stay in the sunshine when you can, enjoy the rain-even if its cold, it’s good for you. Rest and let your roots get used to your new space, spread out when you are ready…mostly just enjoy the day and grow.”

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Monica
    May 06, 2013 @ 21:52:46

    good luck!

    Reply

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