They’re actually growing!
There can be no disputing it, the veg in my garden are actually metamorphosising from small crunchy seeds into green leafy plant-type thingies. Trouble is I don’t know what’s legitimate veggie and what’s weedy imposter.
I should clarify. I don’t mean there’s a skinny fellow trespassing in my veg patch. By weedy imposter I mean weed. Well, not weed exactly. I’m not cultivating that elixir of Bill and Ted and I don’t want the OPP knocking on my door. Oh this is getting complicated. No, I mean weeds; the sort that always seem to grow bigger, taller, stronger than the plants you actually want in your garden.
And there you have it, by process of writing this text I have worked out the perfect way of identifying my veg. The small, slightly sad looking plants struggling up from my horse poop laden beds are veg; the tall vibrant chaps with verdant leaves and flower heads the size of dinner plates are weeds. All I need now is some industrial strength Weed-B-Gone and the job’s a good un, as they say in
But back to the veg. Yes, we have a garden that hopefully will bear fruit. By fruit I don’t mean fruit exactly, except for the tomatoes… oh dear, what with all these asides you’ll think I have been growing, and partaking of, the weed. No, I mean veg: potatoes, beans, carrots, onions, leeks, broccoli, you name it we planted it. Well my lovely wife did. I was more the manual labour (read fetcher, carrier and digger of manure). She’s made a lovely job of it, too.
Trouble is we’re both relative novices at gardening. Living in
for 15 years, the nearest veg patch to me was probably filled with weed, rather than weeds and our own cultivating potential came in the form of a lone window box filled with exhaust fumes and pigeon shit. London
As mentioned often before, coming to the rural idyll that is Haliburton, was all about living in the country and doing what country folk do. And so, this spring (about April time) we set about our garden with vigour. Only to find we were somewhat premature.
“Never plant till after the last full moon in May,” said one local, smiling the kind of rueful smile that says, ‘oh lord, we’ve got one here!’
“You have to remember we’re in a different zone to
,” I was told by the lady at Country Rose. The only zones I’d knowingly frequented until this point were One and Two, on the England Underground (I never went zones three and four; they were where the less cultured folks lived). London
“It’s all about temperature,” ventured another wise old gardener. “If you can sit bare cheeked on the soil and not get a cold behind, then your patch is ready to plant.” Good job I don’t live in the middle of the village, thought I!
“Urinate around the edge of the garden to keep the racoons away.” Come on. I’ve pissed into the wind before, figuratively speaking, but I’m not actually going to empty my bladder around my veggies. Us English folk stake out our territory with a hedge not a scent mark!
With advice to the good, or not, we went ahead and planted after I’d mooned in May (that was the advice wasn’t it) and now we have a living, growing veg patch. The rabbits are fended off by a fence; the deer stay away thanks to next door’s large dog; the Japanese beetles… we are still struggling with them. Anything short of a flamethrower (amazing what you can buy at yard sales) doesn’t seem to have any impact, and I’ve already been cautioned by wife and fire chief not to even think about it till the drive needs clearing of snow.
And so, against all odds, the squashes are starting to flower; the carrots are looking spritely. Tomatoes are coming on strong, as are the potatoes. And the cucumbers! If anyone knows what I can do with a surplus of these big long green chaps in a few weeks time, please let me know.
Although, words to the tune of stuffing them somewhere the sun don’t shine will be taken as an insult rather than kindly rural Canadian advice!