It’s that time of year again. Time to decide what to grow in the garden. I’ve done beans, potatoes, onions, and tomatoes with some success. Usually what happens is that as long as the weather is nice, I spend time out there weeding and watering and talking over the problems of society with my plants. They seem to appreciate the discussion. As soon as it gets hot and muggy, I retreat to the air conditioning and only come out to throw on some water in those few precious moments of the evening when the heat has let up but the mosquitoes haven’t arrived to carry me away. That I ever have anything to harvest after mid-July is always a mystery to me.
Last year I had a new complication. A vole took up residence in my compost pile and helped himself to several of my plants. He ate my pepper plants down to nubs. Twice. This year I’m thinking seriously of going back to container gardening, at least in the back yard. My raised bed has seen better days and while Eric has offered to build me another one, the containers will be much more rodent-proof. I’m also thinking of trying potato towers. You make towers out of gardening wire, put some straw, dirt and compost in the bottom, drop in the seed potatoes, and add more dirt and compost. When the plants get to a certain height, you throw in more dirt. It sounds easier than mounding dirt around them, and it might increase my yield.
The truth of the matter is, gardening is not my favorite thing. Every fall I decide to take the next year off. Every spring I plant a garden. Aside from the obvious reasons–convenience of having certain foods close to hand, and knowing they’re pesticide-free–the reason I garden is paranoia. If the world ends, I want to have the skills in place to feed my family and maybe even my neighbors. The world might not end, but if it does, I don’t want to be caught unprepared. And really, when it comes down to it, the hardest part is deciding what to plant. Guess it’s off to peruse seed sites. Again.