|April 13, 2012||#1|
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: zone 5b, Eastern Iowa
random musings of a newbie
If I could be so-indulged: I'm putting my thoughts down as a gardening-newbie so many years ago versus now being a newbie to growing tomatoes. I've been thinking lately how I really need to merge those two worlds, if you will. I've been what I thought of as a serious gardener since around 1997 so about 15 years now. I have thought of myself as "having a green thumb" for some time now, but now that I think back on it -- I don't believe I thought so way back then.
This past Spring/Summer I grew my first tomatoes - it was a bad year for tomatoes, I'm told - whether it was the year or me just being new I didn't have a good year. I didn't get very many red tomatoes until late, late into the season. Well, heck I didn't even know what I was doing when I bought those toms from the nursery - probably bought some late bloomers for all I know. Anyway - I'm growing toms (and other stuff) from seed for the first time this year. Am both enjoying the learning experience and obsessing over it at the same time. Well...more like I'm obsessing over the toms than anything. This is because I'm on a mission. I want to get some good home grown 'maters this year! I didn't get ANY last year! I haven't had any, really, since my grandfather grew them in Pennsylvania so long ago. Sigh....
I've been running into road blocks on my first go 'round of growing toms from seed. So, I've been telling myself to remember when I was a newbie at gardening in general. That might actually help me to relax and enjoy it more.
My first serious year as a gardener: bought my first house so I was in love with it of course. My neighbor planted lots of pretty flowers in her front and back yard and I was already in love with gardening so I kinda followed her lead that first year. I laugh when I remember the 2nd day -- I had planted TONS of petunias out front. Killed my back. Killed my pocket book. Oh so pretty. Oh so proud. Next day - came outside - looked like one of my neighbors had come by and pulled EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM up and just laid them there to the side. And I mean - EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM. Well, imagine my surprise! It was obviously some grub-loving animal but I sure didn't know to expect anything like that. I was just shocked and frustrated.
Anyway - I didn't give up. I eventually branched out from doing what I saw my neighbor succeeding with to experimenting with my own stuff. Fifteen years later: my neighbors are asking me for advice and asking me where I learned what I know. I tell them the truth - trial and errorl; a little bit of bravado and a lot of trial and error. And also a lot of reading of books and, these days, reading what folks have on the internet.
I dunno what it is. Partly that I really just love it. I hate housework and cleaning, etc. But I love spending time outdoors and doing even the menial tasks of turning soil over and weeding and trying to figure out where something will work, etc. I'm usually pretty successful.
But, what I've been realizing as I'm watching myself now obsessing over the tomato growing is that all these years I've always been somewhat relaxed about it all. Meaning - I wasn't always going to be successful. I knew that. It wasn't about the money. It was about doing something that I loved and enjoyed. And I knew not everything I did was going to be successful and I knew I would learn from it and do new things next year. Example in point is that this year in my perennial garden I'm experimenting with a white garden -- some of the stuff I put in this past fall didn't come back up. I'm not feeling the least bit guilty about that. It just is what it is.
I'm trying to learn that same lesson with the toms I'm currently growing from seed. They probably won't all make it. Yes I'm seeing some incredibly fantastic, amazing, experienced people in this forum who grow tons and tons of toms from seed and they all look just fabulous. But that won't be me. It's okay. I'm in my first year. I'm learning. It's not about the money - it's about the enjoyment and I'm going to be happy if I just have a few of the toms make it and give me some fruit this year which would be better than last year.
Last edited by babice; July 14, 2012 at 12:33 PM. Reason: spelling