Just about everyone who knows me knows that I’m no vegetable gardener. I like to blame the woodchuck for my failure to grow Swiss chard, basil, lettuce, and cabbage but in truth, laziness is my excuse. Vegetables generally require more attention and input than I am inclined to give my garden. Since potted plants are the major exception to my laziness rule I have sometimes tried to grow tomatoes, basil, and lettuce in containers. Alas, despite regular watering, my attempts even at that have never resulted in a proud harvest.
This year I asked my cook and carpenter for a raised bed. I thought a dedicated space might help keep me focused. Can’t say it did. Borage and weeds overtook the basil and beets. I thought its height might thwart the woodchuck. Silly me. Chucks reach for what they want. The bok choi, Swiss chard, and cabbage disappeared the day they went in.
The only thing the raised bed has been great for (so far) was to grow the biggest, tastiest tomatoes I have ever harvested from my own patch. I can’t claim any of the credit. My mother-in-law, who always grows a beautiful and bountiful vegetable garden, gave me the starts. I planted them*, watered them once or twice and then laughed as the vines engulfed and capsized the puny cages I purchased to keep them upright. I never thought they’d bear fruit. When tomatoes started to form, I never thought they’d ripen.
They totally did and I happened to glance in their direction on exactly the right day. How happy am I?!
Pretty happy. But I’m not sure I’m a vegetable garden convert yet. Are you? What has been the best reward for your efforts this season?
*I filled the raised bed with my own (weedy) compost. That alone might earn me some of the credit for tomato vine fecundity.