I really don't know how people do it in regions where you can garden close to year-round, because our six-month growing season is about all I can take. Right around this time of year, every year, I'm like, "Ugh, ENOUGH ALREADY. Why is everything still growing, like, ALL THE TIME?"
I think part of this is that I am a lazy gardener, but another big part is that I am a terribly, horribly spoiled gardener. The beanstalk that climbed to the heavens? I swear Jack dropped those magic beans in our backyard, because you can practically just fling stuff around and it will take root and grow.
Don't believe me? Think I'm exaggerating?
I didn't plant this.
It's already netted me four zucchini.
I didn't plant this, either.
And yet there are gourds growing on it.
Matter of fact, I didn't plant any zucchini or gourds this year, but my yard still manages to grow them spontaneously. This is some immaculate conception business, here.
Actually, if I had to guess, it's due to the squirrels and birds that are frequent visitors to my open compost heap. I often see them frolicking around our backyard, apple cores and remnant vegetables clamped in their mouths. I'm still going to insist on calling that vine up there "Mary."
Here's the perennially messy vegetable patch:
Out of all that, I planted three tomato plants and one strawberry plant. The rest is all volunteer tomato plants. Purposeful or not, it nets me a bowlful of tomatoes every few days.
Despite being the only tomato-eater in the house, 90% of these are already gone, because I made sure to have my favorite vegetable dip mixed up and on hand. Of course, I had to pay the toll to collect all that tomato-ey goodness, extracted by the millions of mosquitoes that haunt the great outdoors around here. Both vegetables (fine, fruits) and mosquitoes are made possible by
mass amounts of rain, all the time, even now as I type this. Along with easy Iowa gardens come hordes of Iowa mosquitoes brought about by buckets of Iowa rain. I'm not complaining, exactly, just... informing. If ever you come to visit us in the summer or fall pre-frost, don't forget the bug spray, because there's no way you're escaping without a garden tour.
For some reason, when it comes to vegetable gardening, I'm a bit like roses, in that I have a super-enthusiastic-productive year, then a meh-lazy-just-for-show year. Two years ago I grew plenty of sprouts and seedlings and tomatoes and onions and gourds and sunflowers and zucchini and peppers. This year? Some tomatoes and a few small strawberries.
I just have to keep in mind that this means come early spring of next year, I'll have my egg carton seedlings started and carefully labeled, and most of my seed packets ready, and a grand plan that I'll half-execute, because if this year was lackadaisical, it means the next is an On Year. Heck, the neurotic side of me is stirring already, just writing this post.
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