I'm frustrated. Really frustrated. On Earth Day last month, I decided that I would celebrate by not just planting a tree, but by planting my garden. I did plant a tree, a White Ash (Fraxinus americana) and so far it's not looking so hot, but maybe it will pull through with a little TLC. But the garden, that's what has me frustrated.
I picked a spot in the yard that I thought would make a good garden spot. I got my garden tiller out and worked up the ground. I laid out the design on paper and the list of the things I wanted to plant. I measured the distances between my rows and pulled strings from one end of the garden to the other to please my inner OCD, and then I started planting. I planted 3 different varieties of tomatoes, 3 different types of peppers, spinach, okra, cucumbers, 5 rows of green beans, 2 rows of limas, 6 hills of squash, a row of brussel sprouts, watermelon, black eyed peas, purple hull peas, and I think that's it.
It's been over a month and I thought that by now everything would be looking great. I figured my tomato vines would be bushy and hanging full of little tomatoes, and that my peppers would have little peppers on them. I thought that, surely by now, my green beans would be blooming and the watermelon vines would have little runners on them.
But...I went up one day this week to check on it and to mow the yard, and noticed that I did have a few tomatoes but one of them was rotting on the vine and had to be pulled. I did have a few peppers, and one tiny squash. But everything else looked terrible. Some of the green beans I planted came up, some didn't. Some of the lima beans came up, some didn't. And the ones that did looked puny and yellow. We had that 6 inch rain the week after I planted and the ground had been beaten so hard that what wasn't already through the ground, and didn't get washed away, couldn't break through.
So...I picked up my trusty garden hoe, loosened the ground up, replanted what I could, and did something this time that I had neglected to do the first time I planted. You see, I haven't put out a garden in years, since before my Granddaddy died, so I didn't think to stop and pick up any fertilizer when I planted. I think that I thought about it, but couldn't find any, and wasn't sure where to look. No food...no growth.
It's funny how something as simple as a garden can make me stop and think about the other things in my life that won't grow without being fed. My relationships won't grow without being fed. My faith won't grow without being fed (that's part of the reason for the blogging thing). My understanding of scripture won't grow without being fed. There are so many things in our lives that, if neglected, will just wilt and die, and sometimes we don't see it until it's too late.
Now, I'm not a master gardener by any means. My brother could grow just about anything, but it's somewhat the struggle for me. I have gone back and side dressed all of my veggies, and I even put some miracle grow on the tomatoes and peppers because goodness knows if they're going to grow it's going to be a miracle at this point. I've realized just how much attention a garden needs and I don't mind. I actually enjoy it. But I have also realized that there are other things in my life that need just as much attention to be healthy.
So, plant your seeds, but once they're planted don't forget to go back and check on them...a little water, some plant food, keep the bugs off, and just maybe the seeds you've planted will feed you for years to come.