Sunday, May 8, 2011

:::The Will to Do:::

Through my gardening endeavors I've realized that there is often a huge difference between what 'They' say you can do, and what you can actually get away with.

Tomatoes and peppers won't germinate in cold weather. Well, if you sit them on your stove at night they will. Slowly, slowly, but you'll get there.

{Tomato -- Sweet 100 or Currant}

You need fancy heating mats, special soil, and a tray of neat compartments to start seeds. Or, you can use old takeout containers, Styrofoam cups, and milk jugs, and fill them with whatever soil they're selling at your nearest grocery store. Done.

I've even read information from DC area gardeners that says that you have to start seeds in January/February or all is lost. But I have a friend at work who has an awesome garden each year and he didn't start seeds until the middle of April!

Little by little, I've built a pretty sweet garden on a concrete slab in the middle of the city.

And things are starting to grow.


It's been a lot of work...

and a lot of carrying ri-donkulously heavy and awkward loads of gardening supplies through multiple metro stations...

but I've done it. I've done all the hard work over and over again.

Early on in this process I realized that I just had to do what worked for me and what I could afford using what was available to me. After all, plants have been growing for millions and millions of years without human intervention. One year my dad went up on our roof and found a healthy, viable tomato plant growing in a mound of opossum doodie. All that little plant had going for it was a small amount of compost, sun light, and a teensy weensy amount of morning dew, and it grew.

{Arugula/Rocket if you want to sound posh}

I don't have a green thumb at all. I've killed several cacti and succulents in my lifetime. But this year I've sprouted a lot of seeds in not the best environment, and now I have a lot of seedlings and plants that look like they're gonna make it. I've probably over- and under-watered all of them at some point or another, and will probably continue to do so, but, guess what? It's going to be okay.


Bottom line -- I think that intuition, common sense, and trial and error are the best teachers. I still do a lot of research, but I forced myself into just doing and possibly failing as opposed to waiting until I have the time, money, and space to kick things off exactly the way they should be. I don't usually have this attitude, but I'm making myself push through this time.


Joie said...

I love when there is a space of time where I accept no excuses and just do what I need or want. No matter the outcome it always so satisfying. If only that attitude were more consistent and permeated all the aspects of my life.

scrambled brains said...

Truly inspiring. That's the ticket, Faye!

lelly said...

hooray for styrofoam cup gardens!

michelle said...

I love this! I think I would have just accepted that the tomatoes and peppers wouldn't germinate and that I needed the special equipment. Love that you just went for it - that really is a pretty sweet garden!