Tag Archives: Raised bed gardening

Rookie Gardening & Redneck Chivalry

It occurred to me the other day, as I was shredding the Catalog of Horrors with my teeth, that I have yet to broaden my horizons on this blog.  I moved here because I wanted to talk about more than just my weight loss efforts and I’ve done anything but…so here goes nutt’in.

Hubby and I have talked about starting a garden for years, but we’ve never done it. I prefer to do a little research and preparation before I start a big project, whereas hubby just likes to half-ass it.  This year, the half-ass method won out.  So we finally jumped in with both garden clogs and just did it.

I’d been saving a little plastic seed starter/greenhouse gizmo for quite some time. Three years, to be exact.  Three years ago, we ran out to Home Depot after watching one of those ridiculous home improvement shows and spent a small fortune on seeds, pots, tools, and the aforementioned plastic gizmo.  Then we came home, he picked up the Playstation remote, and I realized a garden would be just one more thing on a long list of to-do’s that would fall under my realm of responsibility. After about week #3, I got tired of the Home Depot bags hogging up my kitchen table and I tossed them in our future guest room/current storage room…never to be thought of again.  Until June 14th…three years later.

Last June 14th, I whipped out the seeds and the plastic gizmo and started planting.  I had no freak’in idea if the seeds were even good anymore…but I planted!  I put my little greenhouse gizmo on the window sill in our dining room and diligently checked it every day.  (This is extremely important if you happen to have a chubby black cat in your house who’s mission in life is to get into everything she’s not supposed to and either eat it, play with it, or lay on it.)  We have such a cat…and her name is Hemi.

This is Hemi just after she laid claim on my Snuggie when I got up to use the restroom.  See that look on her face?  Sheer entitlement, my friends.  Cattitude.  But I digress…this post is actually not about Hemi.

After just 3 days time, something wonderful happened:  the combination of the amazing plastic gizmo and the beautiful Texas sun sprouted my first seedlings!  Basil, Oregano, and…Pumpkins!  Yes…Pumpkins!

Seeing that I was properly motivated by the amazing plastic gizmo and my beautiful new baby seedlings, the hubby hubs pounced on the opportunity to get me firmly hooked in gardening.  He took off to Home Depot and came back with all kinds of wood, screws, and bags of dirt.  Before I knew it, we had a raised garden bed in the backyard.  He had me out there transplanting before I knew what hit me.

Looking in the left half of the bed:  in the back, left corner you can see our jalapeno plant.  Just in front of it is our tomato plant.  (We bought those from Home Depot because we didn’t have any seeds.) You can see the smallest pumpkin sprout sticking up out of the dirt in the middle, back row.  We have two other pumpkin plants as well, but they’re not in this shot.

Ask me why I planted 3 pumpkin plants.  Go ahead…ask me.

Did I mention that I’m a city girl, by the way?  Yep.  City Girl, born & raised.  My Mom’s idea of camping was checking into the Motel 6 closest to the campgrounds.  She was a City Girl, too.  So let me just preface this by saying that anything that involved putting my hands in the dirt was not in my realm of understanding.

I planted 3 pumpkin plants because I wanted 3 pumpkins.  Yeah, you heard me.  Had I done my usual preparation, I would have realized that one pumpkin vine will yield MANY pumpkins.  Just like an apple tree yields many apples…and a tomato plant, well…you get the idea.  I should have too.  Ooops.  My bad!  So we have 3 pumpkin vines in our backyard…and apparently, they love Texas weather.  Here’s my littlest pumpkin baby just two weeks later:

And less than a week after that:

…and last Thursday:

That’s just ONE.  Don’t forget:  I have two more.

Another fact that eluded me as I was happily planting seeds in my amazing little plastic greenhouse gizmo:  bugs.  Pests.  Insects.  Y’all remember the little altercation I had on the trail behind my house last year, don’t you?  Click here to remind yourselves.

Well…we have squash bugs.  Mmm-hmm.  Squash…BUGS.  Hideous little creepy crawlies that love nothing more but to bother my beautiful pumpkin vines.  Jerks!

I Googled my little heart out when I found the first one, determined to find a solution to these unwelcome invaders.  Oh, I found a solution:  hand pick the bugs off the plants and smush them in my fingers.  THAT’S the solution?  I was hoping to find something more along the lines of an Uzi that shoots Miracle Kill at the little bastards.

I was heart broken.  I simply don’t have the guts to go out there and pick bugs off my plants…I’m sorry.  I’m sure a horrible disappointment to the gardening world.  PETA is probably pretty happy with me, though.  That doesn’t make me feel better at all.

Hubby knows my weaknesses and loves me anyway.  The bug phobia is no exception.  So while I give him crap about spending too much time with the Playstation remote in his hand or conveniently forgetting how to clean anything, I have to give him props for stepping in where his chicken shit wife fears to tread.

I was getting ready for bed the other night when I realized I hadn’t told him about the latest stunt our crazy next door neighbor pulled, so I stopped in mid-eyebrow pluck and went off in search of him.  Living room…no.  Office…no.  Kitchen…no. Then I noticed the dog.  She was standing at the sliding glass door with her giant nose pressed against the window, peering anxiously at something in the dark.

There, in the garden, at 11:45 pm, was the hubby…clad in one of the most unique outfits I’ve ever seen him in:  tighty whities, garden clogs…and a head lamp.   Nothing else.

There he was, squatting in the middle of my precious pumpkin vines, hand picking squash bugs and squishing their little brains right through their butts.  Any other time, I would’ve been mortified as hell.  My inner control freak briefly wanted to yell “Put some pants on!”  Instead, my heart welled up with gratitude as I watched him. Damn it, I don’t care if our neighbor looks out his 2nd story window and sees my half-naked hubby in just his underpants and a headlamp…he’s doing it for me!

Redneck chivalry at its finest.



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