Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Garden Report

At the ripe old age of 52 I have accepted the fact that while I'm pretty good at some things, I excel at none. Some things I'm so-so at and some things I fuck up so badly, I won't even attempt them again. Sometimes I fuck things up so badly I run away and blame them on somebody else.

I'm a pretty decent handgun shot, a fair rifle shot, a good reloader, a pretty damned good fisherman and the best husband I can be although my ex would probably argue with me on that. That's about it as far as shit that I'm pretty good at, but it's all important stuff.

Stuff that I'm just average at is handyman stuff (although Lisa would probably rate that as "Really Sucks"), cooking, cleaning, coyote hunting, stringing a barbed wire fence, and being patient with the general public.

Shit that I fuck up? I could go on and on but I'll give you just a few examples.
Anything mechanical - it is cheaper and quicker to put my vehicle in the shop right away than it is to thoroughly fuck it up and still have to put it in the shop to repair what I fucked up along with the original repairs. 
Getting lost - I can get lost faster than anybody I know. And not only that, I can fucking stay lost, thwarting all efforts by searchers to find me.
Pie crusts - I never have been able to make a pie crust from scratch. My retarded grandson can make a pie crust. Not me.
Training a dog - it's hard to train something that's smarter than me and has nothing better to do than out-wait me.

And now I'm adding gardening to the list of shit I suck at.

Just a quick recap: I had never started a garden from scratch, I had always work with an existing garden site - ground already broke, weeds under control. When we moved here I saw an area that had been used as a garden a few years before but was overgrown with weeds, so I sprayed the fuck out of it with Round-up, poisoning all those little weeds as well as our environment. Then I went in and pulled them all out a few weeks later, then spaded the ground up and built up the garden.
Then a few days later we got a string of 80+ degree days and I figured, "Well hell, Farmer Kenny. Let's get to plantin'" so I did and began anxiously awaiting my bountiful harvest so I could feed myself and impress all my family and friends with my harmonious relationship with nature.
All good so far, right?
Uh-uh. See, what I forgot about when I pulled those weeds was all the motherfucking weed seeds that were already in the dirt that was now formed into furrows and rows in my garden that exploded and choked most of my shit out. What's bad was that had I covered the ground with black plastic bags when it was real warm, it would've killed all those weed seeds from the heat. Then I could've planted and not have near the problems that I'm having now.
I don't know what kind of weeds these are but they're little bitty fuckers with 2 leaves and a red stem and they come up in a fucking carpet almost overnight. They started growing almost right away and even though I was pulling them on a daily basis, they kept coming up. I must've weeded one row 15 times and have yet to see something I planted there.
Then after a couple of weeks I realized that I was probably pulling seedlings along with weeds, so I stopped weeding for a few days until I could easily spot the seedlings. That was a fucking mistake. The weeds took advantage of my generosity and exploded.
The only thing that ain't taking no shit from any weeds are the radishes. One month from planting to harvest and they outgrow the weeds and choke them out. Maybe I oughta go with a straight radish crop this year.
One of my options is to pull my radishes when they're ripe and go ahead and cover the garden for a couple of weeks and bake the seeds before they germinate but that would kill the other plants that did actually sprout. That and I've got so much fucking time invested in pulling weeds that it's starting to turn into a pissing contest between me and them and I ain't ready to quit fighting yet.

CharlieGodammit took care of the cucumbers, squash and melons that I planted. That dog cannot stand to see a mound in his territory and flattens them every chance he gets. Actually, I think he thinks it's a gopher mound and the reason I think that is because I bought some starters to replace the ones he destroyed and they're still there, at least last time I checked they were. As long as there's a plant on top of it, he'll leave it alone. So far. Of course once we start getting melons and cukes it may open a whole new can of worms with him - probably start shitting on top of our ripe melons and using the cukes for..... I don't even wanna go there.

Then there's the bugs, specifically the ants.
I am not an advocate of organic farming or any of that hippie shit. I don't have the money to spend on organic foods and I'm too lazy to do the work necessary without pesticides and other God-given gifts.
My problem is money. I know I need to buy these things but I didn't think I needed them right then and I didn't have the money to spend on something that wasn't pressing at the moment.
I should've asked some blue haired old lady buying her squash and eggplant.
I had a row of bush beans planted and I noticed that I had 3 sprouts right in the middle of the row. Now I realize that shit ain't gonna be popping up all at once, but after another week I still only had three fucking plants and I was starting to wonder what was up. I started checking it out and I was seeing bean hulls on top of the row but no sprouts. And then I realized that I had a shitload of ants running back and forth on the row and they were all carrying green stuff back to their anthill about 10 feet away in that rotten stump. That was MY green shit they were carrying. I couldn't fucking believe it: Here I am with about a million radishes, 4 onions, a half dozen carrots, 1 fucking okra plant and 3 bean plants and they're running over 10 feet of tender succulent weeds to eat my food?
Oh, HELL NO......
I went into the garage and found a bunch of old half full bottles of insecticide, about 20 years or more old, shit that had deteriro degraded so bad that a toxic disposal site would probably refuse it and I'd get arrested transporting it and mixed it all together. Fuck diluting it, these motherfuckers done pissed me off. Then I put on my facemask and some felony gloves and attacked that stump. After I was done and was standing upwind, I saw that stump all soaked and glistening and toxic surrounded by ant corpses. What a beautiful sight.

The rest of the garden is stuff that any dummy with a garden hose can grow so I'm not including this in things I Suck At.
My tomatoes are big and in full bloom, even getting a few baby 'maters on them. I do need to go down and get some dust for them to keep the aphids and tomato worms off.
Squash and cucumbers and melons are not growing but they ain't dying either. That's a victory in it's own self as far as I'm concerned.

So yeah, I'm gonna add gardening to the list of shit I suck at. But you know what? I'm fine with that. I know that I can grow my own food if I needed to but I also feel just a little more comfortable going down to the supermarket to buy or supplement my vegetables and thanking Jesus and Juan for the sweat of their labor.
I knew this fucking picture would come in handy sometime. Now I can finally delete it.


drjim said...

Hey, at least you try!
That's 1000000% better than most of the lazy fucks out there!

ODDMAN said...

Made my day with that post. Glad that I'm not the only one with gardening problems.

Bryn. said...

"little bitty fuckers with 2 leaves and a red stem"

Sounds suspiciously like Chinese Knotweed to me... if it is, call in any favours you have with any Army buddies in the weapons store... a 10kiloton tactical nuke would probably do it.
Yes, been there & wept tears of blood over enough salad to sustain a hamster, while the garden looked like something out of The War of The Worlds...

DeNihilist said...

Well I'm one of the lucky ones, the wife has a couple of horses, so we eventually get to eat their shit. :)

Funny thing, you find tomatoes easy to grow, whilst up here on the north left coast, it is a real bitch without a green house. But I try every year!

davecydell said...

'the best husband I can be although my ex would probably argue with me on that'

wirecutter said...

Miss Lisa wasn't my first dance, Dave.

Brian in Florida said...

HA HA HA,, I gave up here on the Sand bar called Florida, I have to grow in pots,, I am sure that a fly by will see 12 pots of tomatoes and cucumbers peppers and squashe and they will mobilize SWAT and send in Storm Troopers to arrest me for unauthorized Green Job Eradication. After all i grow veffies without hiring people.

Angrymike427 said...

Look, you learned some shit for next year, don't give up now...... Now you know to put plastic down, let it cook, then plant. I always by some cheap assed book to give me tips for whatever pile I decide to step in, I'm no fuckin genius ........