May 18, 2021
It was nice outside last Friday evening, and I decided it might be time to finally get my vegetable plants into the ground. I had purchased them before the freeze and ensuing wind and torrential rain and had been reluctant to put them outside in the elements. The problem was, they were not doing well inside either. I never really know how much to water, and with all that that has been going on I have not paid a lot of attention to their health. No time like the present, right?
Another problem that kept me from planting was I needed to rebuild the planters. Melissa’s dad had built four small standing planters with small bird houses on one side. While they were cute, they were not functional. The bird houses were too small for birds and the soil containers seemed too shallow for vegetables. They worked fine for flowers, but last year’s vegetables proved they did not have enough soil to allow the vegetables to thrive. All the produce was tiny. I also had the extra tomato I had purchased thinking the one in the planter was dead. I found another container pot I could use and set about my business. I was finally moving ahead.
Rebuilding the containers was not hard, just time consuming. I first removed the ground cloth and soil from each pot. I was surprised how shallow the soil was. It was no wonder I got little production. I relined each pot with new cloth, taking it all the way to the top. I replaced the existing soil into the containers as a base, added fertilizer, and then put on an additional layer of soil. That let me put the plants on top of the new level and then fill soil around each plant. That added three times more soil and a healthy dose of vegetable starter to each pot. Lastly, I did a similar fill for the new pot I had located and planted the new tomato. I was finally done.
Thoughts: I mentioned last year that gardening is not my best forte. I tend to get the plants into the ground, get sidetracked, and then scramble to try and get them to revive. This time they did not even get into the ground. Now they are finally in their pots and I have a sense of satisfaction knowing this part of the task is complete. What I was reminded last year, is this is only the first stage. The plants need both ongoing oversight and to be left alone to give them the optimal growth pattern. As many parents have children graduating from High School at this time of year, they have been taught a similar lesson. You cannot allow the child to pass through these early stages of life without any protection. At the same time, you cannot over protect the child, or they will not learn to grow on their own. Now they have become adults and need to be treated as such. I have found my plants need a little stress to make them thrive. I think the same is true with our children. Do the work. Follow the science. Change is coming and it starts with you.