Selfie attempt #1
I always thought of June 21 as simply the first day of summer. But apparently a new holiday has popped up that may surpass the summer solstice in importance. My coworkers informed me that June 21 is also National Selfie Day.
I am an anti-selfie taker. I can never find the correct flattering angle and end up with crazy Charles Manson eyes whenever I attempt one. But at my coworkers’ urging, I decided to take a gardening selfie in honor of the special day. As you can see, results were mixed.
Selfie attempt #2, again with the crazy eyes
On to more relevant gardening news. After my old seeds debacle, the garden looks great! We’ve had a lot of rain lately so everything is growing well. Even the squash seeds I planted a couple of weeks ago have sprouted. Using fresh seeds makes all the difference.
I had to do some additional garden maintenance such as spraying an organic pesticide to protect the plants and staking the tomato plants for extra support.
One thing about gardening that always makes me sad is weeding out seedlings. Instructions for the squash seeds said to plant three seeds per hill and narrow down to one seedling per hill at about 2” in height. I wish I could keep them all but I remember how large the plants got last summer.
I feel like I’m on the way to success, just not with selfie taking.
Too many squash seedlings
One squash seedling left
Leaning over tomato plant
Supported tomato plant
Garden full o’ weeds
It’s about a month into the garden and I have to say it’s not turning out like I hoped. I’d even say it’s a disaster. Not a Fyre Festival level disaster; there are no stranded tourists or class action lawsuits involved here. But where I should have the beginnings of my vegetable garden, I have nothing.
It started with the decision to use seeds I had leftover from last year. I thought I was being smart and economical. Apparently I was being neither. I planted squash, cucumber, carrots, lettuce and pepper seeds during the first week of May and waited for the seedlings to make their way to the surface.
During week three I recognized several of the green things as weeds and picked them. I wasn’t sure about the others still left so I contacted one of the Master Gardeners in my local Cooperative Extension office. After a couple of email communications where I explained what was going on, this was their response:
“Sorry Marissa. I don’t think you are going to see anything from those seeds this year. Seeds are best purchased fresh each season or collect your own and plant them the following season.”
Perhaps I was getting a little cocky in year three of the garden and thought I knew it all. But I admit I feel like a complete failure and committed a total rookie mistake.
Newly purchased seedlings
I had two options to fix this. I could start from scratch and plant fresh seeds. That meant I wouldn’t have any produce until late August or September. Option two involved purchasing vegetable plants and transplanting them. I went with option two so I could still enjoy fresh vegetables during the summer months.
Purchasing the plants felt like cheating but at least I know I’ll have squash, cucumber, tomatoes, peppers and herbs to look forward to.
Two lessons I learned from my mistakes and hope you do too:
- Don’t use old seeds!
- If you don’t recognize what’s growing in your garden as a plant, it’s probably a weed.
It can only go uphill from here, right?
Newly planted garden