Sunday, May 27, 2012

Gardening FAIL

I admit, Jamie and I haven’t done the best job at de-city-fying  our children. Given that both our fathers were farm boys back in the day its a bit perturbing to know that our kids believe fruit, vegetables and milk are made at the grocery store (ok, I guess “kids” really means “Mason”. Smart as I think she is, I can’t in good faith boast that my 6-month old is currently questioning things like where her produce comes from).

Yesterday this lack of knowledge was made painfully obvious while trying to teach Mace how to plant seeds. The teacher side of me felt it important to show him the difference between a carrot seed and an actual carrot prior to beginning our sowing, so I had both on hand to demonstrate (and if you think that’s interesting you should sit in on one of my classes! Wonders a-plenty!). After giving an especially damn good explanation of seed growth, roots and the meaning of life, I told Mace it was time to plant our carrots. And he did this:
He then topped it off by innocently asking, “Mom, when does the carrot grow?” while I commenced pounding my head against a wall.

Ok. Gardening FAIL.

However, you can’t really blame the kid. Like I said, we’ve done a terrible job at teaching him about this sort of thing plus Jamie and I are both horrific gardeners. Some of you might remember a post I made a few years ago titled “Garden Centres = Prostitutes” (and if you haven’t read it, its worth a peek. Promise). Well, not only have our gardening skills not improved since then, but only a slim minority of the plants purchased on that outing have survived to today. The front flower bed:
See the two artfully-brown plants? They’re supposed to be green and in full bloom with yellow flowers right now. And don’t even ask me what the hell’s going on with our Cruella de Vil-esq grass plant.
DSC_0834editsmall Does the sun not dare shine over that small piece of the plant each day? Why is it only green on the one side?

We also have an amazing little specimen of a tree in the backyard:
Scientists come from all ‘round to marvel at its stubborn refusal to grow leaves like others of it’s kind. Fight the power, little mountain ash, fight it!

Two more examples of our lack-of-a-family-green-thumb:

My tomato plant, which I bought in full health one week ago
That’s some sweet dead leaves dangling off the one end. Think I have any chance of harvesting this sucker soon?

Mason’s stupid grass-hair thing that was bought two weeks agoUntitled-7
The hair’s going to sprout any day. Definitely. In the meanwhile, I like to call her George Costanza.

Still, there’s small signs of hope. My strawberry plant is actually growing something that looks like a *gasp* strawberry:
Just one, mind you, but I’m not picky at this point.

Also, correct me if I’m wrong but are these not pansies growing in my backyard flowerbed?
Because I can tell you 100% that I have not planted any this year. So where the hell did they come from and more importantly, is it a Sign From God?

Joking aside, I honestly am saddened by my child’s and my lack of gardening know-how. Its such a basic and time-honoured skill to have, in one fell swoop bringing us closer to our roots as humans while paving the way for our future growth as a species. So yesterday, I helped my son take his first steps towards acquiring this knowledge by having him plant seeds of carrots, radishes, and onions in a root-viewing container.
Untitled-5His fascination with the task proved that I should have introduced this sooner, and has made me even more determined to better my own skills.
After all … with the imminence of a post-apocalyptic world in December, I’d better learn how to harvest some damned vegetables. Quick.


  1. Don't worry, I married a farm boy who has an a semi regular basis rescued many plants because I have no idea what I'm doing. I just assume I do. Turns out I'm a bit of a horticultural homicidal maniac. My job is too look at the pretty plants and veggies on the balcony. His job is to keep me from killing them.

  2. I'm lucky my husband has two green thumbs because I kill silk plants!! Also our pansies came back a 2nd year too!! A couple of our first attempts died as well- some plants are so picky!! Hope your garden does better this year!

  3. I think you need to water your plants more often! The tomato plant requires a lot of water - I water mine every second day and I find that it still gets pretty dry in between. Did you get yours from Costco? That's where I bought mine and the container looks similar. And when you water your plants, you have to give them a really good soak. Hope that helps :) Oh and you might have to dig out the brown ones and replace them unless you see any sign of green at the bottom, in which case you can just cut the brown parts off.


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