Gardening for the Clueless

Gardening for the Clueless

OK, I have never gardened.

Not once in my life. 

Just read "Grow your Own Green Market," an article in the Wall Street Journal published on May 7, 2022.

I live in a house and the house does have a garden. Brainstorming. Maybe there is one sprig of something - lavender, rosemary, mint, basil, you know, herbs - I can trim. Maybe, just maybe, I should give it a shot.

I like the beginning of the article, "You might start with a salad garden made up mostly of herbs, lettuces and greens—many of which take well to container growing and can survive in spots with cooler temperatures or just 6 hours of sunlight—rather than pouring your resources into prima donnas like heirloom tomatoes, eggplants and melons that need long hours of direct sun to thrive and come with a steep learning curve."

Damn. That's exactly what I'd love to grow - heirloom tomatoes and melons. 

Add pineapples. Coconuts, if possible very sweet. Grow them so sweet, sugared, syrup-like. What's a heirloom tomato, by the way, but an open-pollinated, non-hybrid cultivar of tomato sweeter than its sibling? (It lacks a genetic mutation that gives tomatoes a uniform red color at the... cost of the fruit's taste.) How difficult can it be to grow the thing?

I happen to live in Connecticut. Well, coastal, southern Connecticut. No palm tree, not exactly exotic territory, but southern nonetheless. Feels like Florida in my dreams. Yeah, I'm gonna give it a fair shot.

The more I think about it, the more I'd love to grow stuff. It makes even more sense to do so when you know that soon enough, you'll have to shell five bucks for a string bean. It's called inflation, courtesy of a Fed that must no longer believe inflation is temporary, how insightful and refreshing!

The article continues, "'Everyone wants to jump right to tomatoes,' Timothy Hammond, a Houston-based urban gardener and educator, said. “But even under the best circumstances, you can only grow tomatoes for about 45 days a year. Herbs, on the other hand, can be harvested practically year round.”

He's right, much of the world cooks with herbs everyday. Too bad I don't cook. Which gives me an idea. Maybe I should cook.

Alright then...

Wonderful practical advice follows. Well worth reading. 

Then the author goes, "Just don’t expect instant gratification. Many seeds need 6-8 weeks of tending from germination until they’re sturdy enough for the ground. If you’re going to start seeds in June, research what will do best in your region as a mid-summer or early fall planting. Want a head start? Skip seeds altogether and head to a local nursery to purchase seedlings, primed and ready to go."

Which gives me another idea, aren't I resourceful today. Can I skip both seeds and seedlings and go straight to the adult thing.

Or, better, can the plant... plant itself?

The article mentions that celery is easy to grow. The leaves of cannabis are delicious in salads. (Who smokes salad is the question?) Iceberg lettuces supposedly take longer to grow than some other lettuces, but it’s quite hard to get them organic in retail.

A select number of tasty, uncommon varieties of seeds to try, is recommended. Please, visit the aforementioned Wall Street Journal article for terrific insight. A couple are mentioned, direct quotes:

""Litchi Tomato

This spiny, shrubby plant produces showy white flowers and fruit that looks like cherry tomatoes and tastes like a cross between the two (cherries and tomatoes, that is). $3.50,

Chinese Pink Celery

Chinese varieties tend to be slimmer, smaller and easier to raise than European celeries—great for beginning gardeners. This vivid, bubblegum-pink specimen is no ho-hum crudité-platter filler. $4,

Alaska Nasturtium

These cheerful flowering plants, closely related to watercress, are a cinch to grow and as pretty as they are peppery and delicious. The Alaska variety is particularly eye-catching. $3.85,

Buena Mulata Peppers

This striking heirloom cayenne starts off a brilliant purple and turns orange and red. Use it fresh in stir fries or salsas, or dried as a pantry spice. $""

Maybe I shall give one of the above a try indeed.

Me, a gardener?

Yup, the day I start cooking.