I like to take on new projects, usually ones that involve learning and/or self-improvement, and then move on to another project once I feel I achieved my goals. For my latest project, I decided to start a garden. I have never had any kind of a garden but I have had 2 epic fails trying to grow a tomato and jalapeno plant. What really got me thinking about having a garden was seeing my mom add her homegrown kale, tomatoes, and herbs to her delicious meals whenever I go back home to visit. Growing our own veggies would be another way to help my wife and I stay on track with our health goals.
When we moved to our new house this year, the backyard had an area that looked like it was made to be a garden. It was a sign. I knew this was my best chance for a garden. I looked at the soil and said “My density has brought me to you. I’m you’re density. I mean…your destiny” (please note: I wish I came up with this but this was originally said by George McFly from Back to the Future. Great movie). I was determined to take advantage of this plot of land and imagined the soon to be bountiful harvest would be worthy of the finest restaurants. Nah, I just wanted to see one plant grow as my one and only previous attempt didn’t go well.
I decided I needed some help and went to the local nursery for advice. They pointed me to the starter plants in season, a 20lb bag of soil, and said as long as I followed the instructions on the back of the plastic tag the plants would have a fighting chance.
I laid down the soil, set the irrigation timer, planted, and checked the plants daily. One thing I noticed is that the garden is not always under full sun. I then moved the tomato plant to the most sunny area. I also looked up what could be composted and buried it under the soil.
Two months and I’m happily surprised that all the plants are still alive and a few have some veggies on them! However, some of the them did have some yellowish leaves so I increased the watering time and started talking to the plants. Yes, actually talking to them. Mythbusters did an experiment and found that talking to plants had a positive result so of course I was going to try this. And after reading several articles I also placed a radio on a timer next to the plants and started playing classical music 6 hours a day. Even though the science on this was inconclusive I figured it couldn’t hurt.
Collard greens (good growth)
Tomatoes with yellow leaves but hangin’ tough.
Even though I’ve now got a whopping 2 months of gardening experience,I know there is still a lot more to do and learn. Tending to a garden requires a steady amount of maintenance and making adjustments, similar to what is needed to stay in shape. You put in all the hard work to get to your goal but then you need to maintain and work at it daily or you’ll lose it. Sometimes maintaining can be harder than or as hard as achieving the actual goal. So, yes, Gail and I have some veggies growing now, but can we keep them growing? Can we get to the point where we actually eat them, and can we (i.e. Mario) keep this going year after year?
For my and Gail’s health goals, yes, we have some revamped healthier habits but are they sustainable? Will we drop them as soon as we reach our goals? Are they “normal” enough that we can do them for our entire life, or at least a very long time?
I continue to check the garden every day because I really want to start cooking and eating our own veggies and I also want to see if all these things I’m trying will make the garden thrive. And I think I may be liking this gardening thing. I still have space for maybe 8 plants but I’ll wait and see how this turns out. And who knows, this may end up being one new project I started that I didn’t walk away from.
Cauliflower & Tiny Broccoli