Saturday, April 11, 2009

Growing Nothing and then Overgrowing Everything...

When I look at my thumbs I notice the cuticle almost always needs trimming, the nail seems ridgier than before and most of the time I can spot a hang nail -- all these things -- but never ever even a hint of green.

I am the queen of "Don't ask me to tend your house plants unless you don't mind if... I STINKING KILL THEM, " I have attempted a garden over the years dreaming of fresh salad for supper and never ending melons of every shape and size, but the truth remains that my sole success has been a zucchini overpopulation none of my neighbors or friends wanted to help me spay.

Still... the weather's teasing warmth bids me try again, guiding me to The Burpee 72 slot Ultimate Growing System with Self-Watering Mat Lowes has displayed temptingly near the check stand. I pick up the box... and then sheepishly put it down again checking from side to side to see if anyone is hearing my audible wish for seedless English cucumbers and Bibb lettuce grown by my own hands. I am intrigued with it's plastic mini-greenhouse design and low maintainence self watering claim. I think my husband would be proud, so I purchase it ... for him.

The magic begins to happen as we carefully pour hot tap water over each of the seventy two compartments with a brown compacted pellet of soil inside each. No applause is expected but, ladies and gentlemen ... the ground swelled and we have just succeeded ... in growing dirt.

The instructions say to make a hole with your finger and place one to three seeds in each section carefully covering them with soil. Twelve rows of six plants available -- Roma Tomatoes two rows each of two varieties, check. Cucumbers, two rows, not the hot house type, but they will do, check. Watermelon, three rows, check. Cilantro, one row, done, and last but not least Bibb lettuce, the very tender, mild succulent kind that never seems to be on sale -- two rows, but have you seen the size of the seeds?? Impossible to get just a couple so we guesstimate figuring some won't sprout.

Fast forward several weeks and I expected to see a couple buds peeking through the soil as opposed to the carpet of green except where we planted watermelon. Did you read the seed packet instructions my husband inquires with a smile. They should have given the gemination times. Are you kidding me... I reply with the same facial expression. I thought the back of the package contained the nutritional information.

Not a lick of my outdoor space is ready yet for transplanting and my salad veggies are growing way too fast. Tim promised with the shake of his hand to get the outdoor garden ready and I am trusting he will. Remember the dismal front flower bed?? I think it may be our new watermelon patch.

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