How Does My Garden Grow? No, Really…I Don’t Have A Freakin’ Clue

I did not inherit a green thumb from my mama. She could plant a couple of petrified looking seeds in the middle of her gravel driveway and have a veritable vegetable oasis within months. I, on the other hand, just don’t seem to have the touch.

Despite year after year of minimal success the hubby and I insist on planting a small vegetable garden every spring in a sunny corner of our backyard prone to rampant wild mint and mammoth mosquitos.

We have a large lot for suburbia (almost a 1/2 acre) and it just seems like the thing to do. Like a couple of crazed backyard warriors, we head to our local gardening mega store every spring and get high off the smell of fresh mulch and the sight of all the beautiful hanging baskets and flats of annuals. Or maybe that’s just me. Getting high off that. But I digress.

Last weekend we had reached a critical point in the early stage of our vegetable garden. The weeds were winning like Charlie Sheen on a 24-hour buzz. I was going to have to suck it up and weed while hubby mowed the yard. So I did what every smart mother does–I talked my kids into helping me with the reward of an afternoon at my sister’s pool dangling before them like a  sparkly rainbow unicorn handing out ice cream sandwiches and Pokemon cards.

The 9-year-old really went to work and I may or may not have really taken my time running back into the house for a glass of water. I came back out and took over while she and the 6-year-old picked up sticks. About 15 minutes into it I was sweating profusely. I was sweating where I didn’t even know I could sweat. I was seriously ticked off at these weeds. I was also seriously wondering what the heck we were thinking when we planted the garden.

Miss A, my 6-year-old, decided to take her 20th break in a half hour and wandered over to observe my handiwork and offer some helpful advice. “Mommy, DON’T pull those up…that’s where we planted the biscuits!”

Me: “The what?”

Miss A: “The biscuits!”

Me: “Do you mean the basil?”

Miss A: “Yeah.”

Pleased with her gardening tip of the day, Miss A meandered back into the shade. No doubt she popped a bead of sweat. Meanwhile, I was sweating like a fiend and swatting at mosquitos swarming around my tasty looking white ankles like sharks after fresh meat.

Meanwhile, Miss C, my older daughter, was diligently picking up sticks and then shouted to me from across the yard. With our pushmower making considerable background noise, I couldn’t make out what she was saying.

Me: “WHAT? I can’t hear you? Come on over here!”

Miss C, walking toward me: “You’re stepping on that plant mom!”

Me, looking down at the one half-way healthy looking plant in our garden: “SH*T!”

Miss C, with her hands on her hips, shaking her head: “MOM. Did you just say a curse word?”

Yes, yes I did.

But seriously, if this is the fruit, or vegetable, of our labor then I think I’m better off driving to the grocery store and forking over 89 cents.


  1. ToryThompson says:

    This is good. Annabel, having come to the end of her weeding “rope”, stood up and mopped her forhead dramatically, and exclaimed, “This is all Eve’s fault because she ate that APPLE!”

  2. Sarah says:

    Love it! And hey, it’s still a nice pepper! I’d cook it! And, it’s early for peppers so you must be doing something right! 🙂

    This year for once, I get to feel all smug about my garden success while my neigbhors peer jealously over the fence! We’ve had so many failed attempts (even weird stuff, like the snake that got stuck in our pest netting and pulled out all our squash) and this year our garden is rockin’ and rollin’. Except that we tried a mulching technique between our raised beds with the terrible consequence of creating a mosquito problem in the neighborhood (shhh! It wasn’t us!) and now I have a mosquito bite on my eyelid–and Brian had to shovel out all the bad mulch out of the garden before we became a malaria test site.

    Btw: All our home improvement projects have succeeded in at least one thing. Teaching my two year old the F-word long before any child should know it!

  3. Tabor says:

    Gardening is in your blood or not. I think for your family you need to start much smaller next year and weed a smaller plot.

  4. ernestine says:

    You make your mama smile. You use to help me when you were Miss A and C’s age. Trust me – you can do it. But at the moment it is almost too late and hot 🙂

  5. Lynn says:

    I’m right there with you in terms of not inheriting a green thumb. I tried (unsuccessfully) to grow some peppers last spring/summer. I still have no idea what I did wrong.

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