It’s been a wild year for my garden, that’s for sure. After installing a new garden box, the plants have taken off no doubt juiced by the brand new benefits of fresh soil and fertilizer. Sadly, the crazy amount of growth isn’t always good for everyone, as some of our lettuce has gotten so prosperous that it’s too big and essentially useless. The leaves are so bitter the rabbits won’t even come near, and they’re starting to crowd out other plants in the box, making it harder for the sunlight and nutrients to trickle down. My only hope has been cutting the plants down to size and breaking them up hoping then that they can contribute a little more than bitterness despite exponential growth.
In other parts of the garden, times are much more rough. My original plot, tilled up back in 2015, is having a rough run of it due to weeds and grasses that are invading their space, looking to take every little bit of usable land for themselves. These weeds don’t really contribute anything to the garden at large, they’re just sort of a middle player between the giant lettuce and the struggling cabbages, who are trying their hardest but keep finding that they are doing more and getting less that the ones who happened to have the luck of being planted in the new box.
And then there’s the middle box, which has fallen into such disrepair it’s nearly fallen apart. What can I say? Times have been tough and I haven’t been able to invest in new wood or fasteners to keep up those middle boxes like I’d like to. I pull the weeds and I do my best, but it’s hard work and it’s really going to take a lot of cooperation. What’s even worse is that some of those monsters over in the new box have even started letting some of those nasty weeds into their box, how crazy is that? Don’t they realize that those weeds, if given the chance, would take everything for themselves no matter what box they are in?
And that’s not even the most difficult part. We put up a fence to try to keep out, shall we say, brown invaders with little cotton-tails. The only problem with this, I found out after the fact, is that the fence doesn’t have a door. That means, to take care of some of the grass and weeds, I need to somehow get a lawn mower inside. Now my old gas mower, Hillary, can do the job, but it’s hardly worth the effort. I have to overcome everything about the fence, and even then she’s not the best at maneuvering when things get rough. So, amazingly, I went back into the garage and I got out my old people-powered, eco-friendly rotary mower, Bernie. Sure, it can’t take care of everything with all of that fence frustration, but he does a pretty good job all things considered. At least this way, I can try to stop the grass and weeds from making it harder for those in the lower garden, as Bernie can plow right through with no walls or gates around the tilled earth.
I’m sure that, after they get cut down to size, the lettuces can contribute just as much, if not more, than the cabbages. It’s not that I hate the lettuce, far from it. I love a salad as much as the next person, but there comes a point where you have to look at the out-of-control growth and ask those plants “just how much more do you really need?” Meanwhile, the kale next door is investing in solid, but less crazy growth, and it’s doing just fine. It’ll be contributing to soups and stews long after the first downturn in temperature sends the lettuce packing. And there’s a chard plant in that box, too, growing way too big to be of any use only to show off to the directly planted ones who are struggling in the lower garden, I suppose. The silly thing about the chard and the lettuce, though, is that they can’t seem to realize that they actually don’t accomplish much, and if they get any bigger they’ll just get cut down and cast aside. Meanwhile, the kale’s going to be over in its corner, minding its own business, and even showing off some awesome flowers.
Food and flowers, bread and roses… isn’t it nice to have both?