Spring has Sprung - But will my Garden?

Ah spring in Alberta is in the air and officially here. With the changing of the season also comes the age old question that comes with living in a rural area: will I plant a garden this year? I have had a garden of sorts for several years now, and, when I review my planting history, I would call my gardening experiences an interesting failure.

I usually begin each planting season with a lot of thought into what my season will look like. What vegetables I will plant? Where will I place each plant so taller ones don't cast shadows over shorter ones and stunt their growth? Should I add more black dirt for increased nutrients? Should I till the dirt up before I start? This planning process helps me accomplish several things. First of all, it delays me to the point where I miss out on seeds because the stores sell out. At this point, I usually have family members that take pity on me and donate some of their seeds. Second of all, it pushes my planting back to the point where I likely miss the starting window for plants for the season. A failure to plan is a plan to fail, or, in my case, a plan to over plan is a plan to delay and increase the chances of failure.

If I’m lucky enough to get seeds in the soil, I watch my garden fill with green life nurtured by sun, soil, and water. I would feel a stronger sense of success if that green were plants and not weeds however. Why can't weeds be as delicious to eat as a carrot or fresh garden lettuce? It's usually once the whole garden becomes overrun that I make an attempt to salvage my growing season with some weeding. My weeding often turns into a fascinating game of are these weeds or is this something I planted? My guessing game usually ends in me pulling and disposing of more plant that weeds I'm sure. If anyone asks, yes, I love to grow weeds as they are both nutritious and delicious (this is not true as you may have suspected). 

When it comes time to reap the benefits of all my hard work (don't ask anyone that's seen my garden to verify this work - they're all liars), I will venture out to my patch with a pail and knife to harvest and enjoy some of my bounty for dinner. My pail quickly fills with a vegetable unique to my garden known as hair carrots (since they are about as thick as a strand of hair), the two pea pods that came up, and a delightful mix of weeds and what I think is lettuce (see my comments above about the merits of eating weeds). I would like to note that many people can grow large carrots, but it takes a gardening expert to grow the more nutrient dense micro carrot known as hair carrots. I should also note that I have had fully grown lettuce before. That same year I discovered one of my dogs decided to defecate on my lettuce though: appetite lost.

While I haven't had much success in the past, each year is a new chance for gardening triumph. Even if I don't achieve growth in the classic way of gardening with, you know, food to eat, I often get a good story out of my garden which is, by the way, the size of a postage stamp that would be able to sustain one person for a few days with even maximum growth. Should my garden be an interesting failure this year, I can also resort to my tried and true method for fresh fruits and vegetables which is to rely on the overgrowth obtained by neighbors with green thumbs. Happy spring!



Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published