THE LAZY GARDENER
By BOBBI BUCHANAN
We don’t get much sunlight where we live on account of all the trees, so I’ve learned that I have to start crops much earlier than most people. If I want to get ripe tomatoes in July instead of September, I have to sow seedlings indoors in January. But, of course, that didn’t happen.
And when a warm spell hit our part of Kentucky Feb. 1, I was too ornery to haul out my five-gallon bucket and go searching for some soil for my seedlings. So I waited. And procrastinated some more.
For folks who long to grow their own food without all the fuss and fancy equipment, we bring you the gardening foibles of Bobbi Buchanan. She doesn’t have the wherewithal to hoe a straight row, let alone keep her garden neat and weeded. She’s an expert at nothing, which makes the fruits of her minor labors that much more inspiring for the rest of us. Welcome to The Lazy Gardener.
By Feb. 10 I realized the sun was not going to come out and melt away the snow so I could dig some muck from the ground and the compost pile. I would have to chip away at the frozen earth. I needed dirt. So that’s what I did.
Turns out it wasn’t so bad. I brought the bucket of cold mud into the house to thaw out, and the next day I started my seedlings in plastic salad tubs, which happen to make neat terrariums. One of the things about germinating seeds is that you want to keep them relatively warm. Having a cover helps when it dips into the teens at night and your seedlings sit next to the window.
As usual, it was much less work than I expected, taking a grand total of perhaps an hour to dig up the dirt, divide it into tubs, toss in the seeds and cover with a bit more soil. By Valentine’s Day the tiniest of sprouts had already formed. The simplicity of this process amazes me year after year.
That’s all I have to worry about for now. I check the soil every couple days and add water when needed. I’ll have to thin them out soon so they can grow bigger and healthier. God takes care of the rest.
Speaking of miracles, I did manage to get my garlic planted … in December. The last two years we’ve had such unusually warm weather in the winter that the cloves I planted in September popped up in December. Or maybe I just didn’t plant them deep enough. Anyway, I’ll let you know how that goes.
If you haven’t started your seedlings, it’s not too late. Most people start them in March and have nice-sized plants to put in the ground by early May. So get out to the compost heap while it’s warm. Worst case scenario, you’ll get ripe tomatoes in September.