The Lettuce Garden
The Lettuce Garden
I have no green thumb. On either hand. They’re black-hearted, plant killing thumbs. If something is a success in my garden, it’s because that little plant wanted to grow. I can be gone as many as six days in a row with my day job, so regular weeding and watering just don’t happen.
And there’s the tiny fact that I hate to weed.
But, I like to buy plants. There’s such promise, it’s so fun, and no work. Yet.
I went to my local garden center late last summer with the idea I’d like a lettuce garden. Evidently, true lettuce gardeners thought of this weeks earlier and had already come and gone. Their gardens were prepared, their plants were thriving in the ground. This day, only a few remained on the display. And they were a bit poor looking.
The sales lady asked if I needed help. I told her my plans, but these plants looked a bit peeked. Did she have more? No, but she’d sell me all eight trays for $7.
Only $7!!?! A bag of spinach costs $3.50. $7 for the whole thing? Two dozen plants? Great!
(BTW, I have long used that word ‘peeked’ and I’ve heard others use it . . . I seriously doubt I created a new word . . . but, I’m unable to find it anywhere as a real word. It’s pronounced pee-ked, two syllables. It means pathetic looking or worn out. As in, ‘Are you feeling a little peeked today, hon?’ I.E. — ‘Hon, you look like s#*%!’)
I bought a few bags of Black Cow, my bargain plants, and went home a happy camper.
We have this side area that’s perfect for a garden except it doesn’t get enough sun for most plans to thrive. It should do nicely for cool weather, delicate plants like lettuce. I weeded and tilled and spread out Black Cow. Then, I made a center walk from some old bricks. My guy had brought home these white wire garden borders. They didn’t look so hot. In fact, they were tacky. Trailer park tacky. But, with a coat of black paint, they made nice little garden fences.
This is the first day of my garden. We had the potential of eating spinach, arugula, red leaf, romaine, radicchio, and broccoli. My little woebegone plants made me wonder if I’d wasted that $7.
And this is a few weeks later! They lived! They grew!
They made beautiful plants and we ate fresh lettuce for weeks and weeks. I planted them way too close to each other, but it was all the space I had. I planted every plant. I don’t think a single one just flat died on me.
Actually, we never ate any of the broccoli. It didn’t die, but someone found his own supermarket. There were six broccoli plants. At first, they grew nicely, keeping up with each other. Then, every few days, I’d find one with the lower leaves chewed away. The next day more leaves were gone. By the third day, they’d made it to the top of the stalk. Then, the stalk disappeared. The other broccoli plants and all of the lettuces were fine. Nothing missing. But, then, the next broccoli plant would start to disappear. A few days later, it was gone and the next began to go. The broccoli heads never had a change to grow large enough to harvest. I could only watch each one slowly disappear. But, that was fine. There was enough for all of us.
Now, fast forward to this morning. It’s spring. I’m thinking about another lettuce garden. This is what my little garden looks like after a long, cold, wet winter.
I have a lot of work ahead of me.
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