When It Rains It Pours

Somewhere there is some Garden God laughing.

“Haha, Claire,” he is saying with an evil chuckle, “Start writing about your garden… and I will go and really mess it all up.”

This is currently what I am dealing with.

It all began about two weeks ago…

Adam and I knew we were being ambitious.

We had big plans for the garden, but we also had the rest of the yard to think about. We moved into our newly built house in early 2013. Landscaping is the goal for this summer.

And, for the record, landscaping is a lot of work.

Scratch that.

Just getting grass planted and growing is a lot of work.

We spent much of Mother’s Day weekend spraying the bazillion weeds that had crept up and then tilling the yard up.

The house sits on five acres. This was a big undertaking.

Adam sat on a tiller for a total of sixteen hours. (And got an amazing farmers tan in the process.) During this we also tilled up the entire garden including the new garden beds. We have gone from last years eight to twenty four.

Twenty. Four.

While Adam was on the tiller, I went out to last years garden beds to weed and remove all the straw we laid last fall to cover the garlic and strawberry plants.

The strawberries looked pretty good. They were full of weeds, but were flowering and look like we will have a good amount of berries in the next few weeks.

However, of the one hundred garlic cloves we planted last fall we have about ten that made it through the brutally cold winter.

I am bummed.

We use garlic so often. I was looking forward to having bulbs straight from our backyard.

The silver lining is that I don’t have to thin the bulbs out.

So, there is that.

And, then…

Last week, I set the seedlings outside on an afternoon that was sunny and warm to help harden them off. Hardening off seedlings helps them to build a resistance and strength against small rainstorms and wind.

I wasn’t prepared for the element that would wreck havoc my tomato and pepper plants on that nice afternoon.

My dear darling chickens decided that the small seedlings looked like a good snack while I worked in my office just inside.

… We nearly had Free Range Indiana Hen for dinner that night.

I was not pleased.

I transferred the partically chewed tomatoes to new flats with new soil and, now, ten days later they are looking a bit better.

I just don’t know how many times I am going to have to save these tomatoes.

And, then… last week it rained.

It rained a lot.

So the plants didn’t see sunlight for a while and the ground was soaked.

We couldn’t work compost into the dirt. We couldn’t get the plants out of the flats and into the ground. We couldn’t even walk through the backyard to the garden without sinking.

The ground is still muddy.

And the plants are still in the flats.

The goal is to get the plants into the ground today after work.

I keep telling myself, “They aren’t dead until they are dead!”

But, they look pathetic.

I can’t help be think they are longing for leg room.

And, in the back of my mind I am wondering if they really are too far gone.

I may be chalking last years sucessful garden to beginners luck and purchasing plants to get things going.

I guess that’s how things go sometimes.

May Sarton

May Sarton

Hope your gardens are looking much better than mine!