because pg 2 6-23-22

Planting a garden seems like a relatively simple task. I mean, you don’t really need a bunch of fancy tools and equipment; nor do you need to have specific skills or training. Basically, there is dirt and packets of seeds with sowing instructions. Sounds easy, right? However what I have discovered is that if you have a big garden and are of a certain physical age, growing vegetables is not quite that easy…
The first major challenge in planting a big garden is in the soil preparation. If grass is already growing somewhere, then chances are it will be a good spot for growing other things. Right? But, if grass is already growing there, this means that you will need to turn up the soil to remove the grass. This is hard work if you don’t own a fancy (and costly) rototiller thingy and tend to have backpain. Even after you turn up the soil and remove the grass roots, you usually discover rocks. The task of picking rocks and tilling soil usually leads me to the conclusion of wanting to buy some raised beds and order a truckload of soil to be delivered at my convenience. However, since I have packets of cucumber, squash and pumpkin seeds, I need to put them in a ground bed so that they have room to spread out and grow. So… three weeks and one bottle of ibuprofen later, I have successfully created a large ground garden bed and am ready to plant my seeds.
I’m not sure if I am alone in my thinking here, but I will admit that I find seed packet instructions confusing. When planting in the ground, is there really a difference between ¼” and ½”? A seed is not a honeybee with an internalized compass. Can a seed really tell the difference between a quarter of an inch?  And then, what is really meant by all the spacing requirement instructions? Do I plant seeds 18 inches apart? I can’t do that because my back really hurts, and I’ve mentally moved past the tilling of the soil exercise and so my garden is smaller than I intended and I will run out of room and I want to plant quite a few things. Finally, do I plant one seed close to another seed and then thin out the plants that grow or do I plant a few seeds together and then only use the strongest growing plant? This always seems a little unfair to me because if I have gone through all this work to make a plant grow, then why would I want to destroy those that fulfill the goal?
In the end, I always seem to plant varying seeds in bunches of 3 or 4 around a ½” down and about 4-6 inches apart. This typically works. Unfortunately, no matter what I do; no matter how much I till the soil; no matter if I put down a plastic barrier, if grass grew there before, it will grow there again and it will bring along hundreds of its weed friends! Maybe next year I will buy a big pot and two tomato plants and call it done!
Kathy Naumann, possessor of NATURALLY curly hair and the understanding that you can’t control everything!


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