Thursday, October 01, 2009
So this year wasn't my year for gardening. I tried, really! I was too cheap to rent a rototiller, so I turned my garden by shovel and spade. I planted corn, carrots, peas, beans, pumpkins, zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, and kohlrabi. I watered and weeded, sweated and cursed. I even bought a soaker hose. I planted flowers, and late summer squash.
The grand total produce produced? This ear of corn - with three kernels. Actually, I can't even claim it - it's popcorn from my compost. I had a few grape tomatoes, from the compost volunteers. I had a canteloup, another volunteer that one of the kids planted in my flower box. I planted summer squash over the top of my septic tank - lots of blooms, no squash.
Mowing. I mow sporadically. Like when the grass is taller than the kids, it's time to hitch up Georgia and ride her all around the yard. It's been raining when I have time to mow, and sunny when I don't. Well, yesterday was a mowing day, and I was faced with the quandry; do I mow over the top of the summer squash, or do I grant clemency so that it can die a natural death by neglect. (yes, I've given up on it.)
Mowing creates a moral dilema. I'll attempt to spell it out for you. Georgia is a Husqvarna riding lawnmower with a 46" mowing deck, and a nifty trailer I can pull things around in if I'm so moved. She's orange and very pretty. Georgia is a little thirsty. It take Georgia about 2 gallons of gas for our 2 acres of grass. It takes me about 2 to 2.5 hours to mow said 2 acres. Our Northeast half-acre doesn't grow very tall, and grows very pretty wildflowers, so I don't mow it every single time I mow. I think, "Gee, it's environmentally friendly!" to let it grow wild. I'm not sure the neighbors think I'm so nobly minded, but hey, we're out in the country and there aren't any ordinences.
Yesterday I decided I'd give the lawn it's Fall shearing and scalp it as short as I can without killing it, so I don't have to mow again until Spring. I got a late start, and I forgot to wear a mask, forgot to wear gloves (Georgia vibrates a bit, and it takes a little while for my hands to regain sensation). So the kids got off the bus before I could finish behind the house and that NorthEast corner. Sam kept running out to me to get me to look at his math homework. I mean, he ran out after every single math problem. Awyn kept running into the Northeast to pick wildflowers before I could mow them down. Mojo kept trying to hop onto the mower with me. He did ride for a few laps at my feet before I was forced to concede defeat and stop mowing. So now I wonder, do I hop on Georgia the next time it's sunny and the grass has dried out (maybe Saturday) and finish the project, or do I just let those flowers and little grass stalks along?
I don't know if I'll attempt the same size garden next year. I'm not certain it's worth it. The grasshoppers first ate the beans, then the peas, then the squash plants. I can't even grow zucchini! What gardener can't grow zucchini? Now, my flowers did grow (a few of them, just enough for a little color in my flower boxes), and I still have a few cherry tomatoes on the porch that are green and trying to grow. But I spent a lot of money on my garden, and for what I spent on watering alone I could have bought fresh produce at the market all summer long. I planted 20 pumpking plants. No pumpkins ever formed. Lots of blooms, no squash.
Sam and Awyn did enjoy gardening with me, even when it was too hot to be outside. They even helped plant things. So I'll probably try to grow stuff next year, but maybe I'll stick to patio gardening.