Due to the heat, we mainly visit the gardens first thing in the morning or not until the early evening. I think most of the gardeners are concerned about the lack of rain right now and how our plants will adapt to the recent drought conditions.
No doubt the heat has also caused many of us to postpone a few additional gardening projects. For us, it has meant a delay in prepping the soil on a third plot for Sue’s herb and flower garden. Even so, we have managed to plant more varieties of seeds, including a second batch of tomato seeds, in boxes at home. We plan to transplant them into the community garden next month. Of course, it’s easy to be diligent when air conditioning, cold beer and ESPN are all simultaneously within arms reach.
Monday, July 19
Today is Sue’s turn to water and weed the garden. She is thrilled that there are dozens of blossoms on the asparagus bean plants. With any luck, the pests that are currently eating the leaves will back off, and these blossoms will turn into something edible.
Tuesday, July 20
It’s my turn to water and weed the plots. Our tomato plants still look strong and continue to grow, but no blossoms have appeared.
Wednesday, July 21
We have conducted our very own biology experiment. Sue saved the seeds from a green pepper we recently ate. Her theory is that if we can successfully get seeds from store bought packets to grow, why not do the same using seeds straight from the source?
So we dried the green pepper seeds and planted them in peat moss and starter soil last week. Since then, small green pepper plants have sprouted and soon will be ready to transplant into the community garden.
It remains to be seen if we will see any actual green peppers from this exercise, but it is, nonetheless, a rewarding experience.
Thursday, July 22
Both of us water and weed at separate times today. I think we do double duty mainly out of curiosity…we each want to see firsthand what’s growing in our plot and what’s happening in the other plots.
As usual, Sue stops to talk with Ken, a fellow gardener, who is watering his plants at the same time. Ken’s plot now has enough cantaloupes, cucumbers, eggplants and squash to feed a small army.
And there is one cucumber, based on size, that could qualify as a WW II-era X-craft midget submarine. Yes, gardening can be a very humbling experience.
Friday, July 23
Tonight is a first: We plan to serve a salad for dinner using lettuce we grew from our very own garden! We anxiously wait for the expected rain this weekend.
This is the diary of Sue and Pete Owens and their attempt to grow produce in Sanford’s first community garden at 18th Street Park. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.