Erin is a mom of two and has been with Today’s Mama for seven years. She is charged with finding and sharing all of the wonderful things the web has to offer. She is particularly fond of sweet treats, photography, printables, and funny things. She writes about losing weight in her Healthy Living for Mom series, and is chronicling her attempt to master her DSLR camera with her new series, Big Girl Camera.

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Gardening for the Overly Ambitious and Minimally Informed

This was going to be the year that I got the hang of gardening. The year that I roasted green chili’s grown in my own yard. The year that I managed to keep a few hanging baskets alive. The year that I turned my deck (my favorite place in the world) into a lush oasis of awesome.

So, if we could all hop in our DeLorean and take a trip back through 2010 so far, here is what you’d see:

January 2010:

Hear Gayla Trail, blogger behind You Grown Girl, speak at Alt. Am inspired.

February 2010:

Head to the library. Check out 3 books on gardening. Depart library with child-like enthusiasm.

March 2010:

Read post from Karen Walrond chronicling her inability to garden or gamble. Find her life list goal to “grow a flower from a seed” inspiring. Laugh my ass off at her “Gambling Dementor” analogy.

Read post from Allison Czarnecki chronicling her vegetable garden system. Think to myself, “she’s doing this with egg cartons? I can totally do that.” Consume eggs like woman possessed.

Read encouraging post from Nici Holt Cline as she launches the Virgin Harvest group. My mouth waters at the thought of enjoying an heirloom tomato from my garden.

Head to the store and purchase seeds. With gusto.

Zinnia, morning glory, pepper, and heirloom tomato seeds are lovingly placed into their egg carton incubators.  Strawberry…uh…“bulbs” and placed in small pots.

April 2010:

April 4: First sprout emerges! (It’s a Zinnia!) Encourage my toddler to blow kisses to the sprouts. Because if you want something to grow, you need to love it.

April 6: It snows. Congratulate self on the fact that seedlings are resting snugly in my office.

April 18: It’s warm! It’s been warm! I have a sunburn! Decide that spring has arrived and transplant seedlings.

April 18 (later): Watch in horror as my rotten dog plucks my pepper seedlings out of the pot.

April 18 (a bit later): Am too distracted my the bliss of eating al fresco to notice that my toddler is following the dog’s example and plucking morning glory seedlings out of the pots.

April 22: It’s snowing. On my seedlings. My TOMATO seedlings. Am angry. Haul strawberries and a lone surviving Zinna seedling back into the house.

April 23: RIP tomatoes.

May 2010:

May 10: Admit to self that everything outside is dead. Head to nursery and purchase Geraniums, Fuchsia and Petunias for hanging baskets and front stoop pot.

May 10 (later): the sky turns dark, wind starts blowing, and it begins to rain. Call husband.

Me: “Hey, I just spent $30 on plants. The temperature isn’t forecasted to go below freezing. The weather looks bad, should I plant them anyway?”

Him: “No!”

That brings you up to speed. I’m hoping for lovely weather the rest of the week so I can liberate my nursery plants from my garage and strawberries from the window in my bedroom. But that Zinnia is staying put – I’m going to get that sucker to flourish if it KILLS ME.

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Comments (8)

  1. Janelle Sorensen 05/18/2010 at 10:23 am

    Go, go little zinnia! I totally empathize, Erin. We're used to gardening in the fertile midwest and had quite an urban oasis at our old home. We're quickly learning the mountains of Arizona are not nearly as amenable to gardening. Some of our learnings in the past few months:
    1. No matter what your experienced, botanist friend tells you – don't mix old horse poop in with your potting soil. Every time you water it will smell like you know what.
    2. Choose plants that don't need much water. This should be obvious living in a desert climate, but we had no idea that when we watered our plants it would entice every wasp and bug in a 20 mile radius to visit our deck. They go where there's moisture.
    3. Choose short flowers. It gets REALLY windy. The taller plants we chose are bending over in submission which creates an ambiance of defeat.

    I could go on, but I won't. I WILL keep trying to garden though. Good luck with yours!

  2. petit_elefant 05/17/2010 at 11:42 am

    You are a gardening Ninja! I'm sure something will come out of all of it, aside from the *dogs are jerks* part. That's just not cool at all. I wouldn't have planned for that.

  3. raejean 05/13/2010 at 7:31 am

    None of my seeds even spouted! I don't even have the snow excuse, or the toddler excuse, or the dog excuse (but thanks for another reason not to have a dog). Maybe in the fall…

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  5. Erin 05/12/2010 at 1:47 pm

    Yeah, as it began snowing I had flashbacks to my Mother-in-Law covering her tomatoes. Good luck with your expired seeds…knowing your hubby, he'll be able to ninja something to make it work.

  6. erinoltmanns 05/12/2010 at 1:46 pm

    My dogs ARE jerks. The tag was appropriate. :) My hubby can smoke/grill a rack of ribs that you wouldn't believe.

  7. erica_f 05/12/2010 at 9:22 am

    LMAO! Did you really include a tag of “dogs are jerks”? I like your grill/smoker combo in the background, too.

  8. Rachael 05/12/2010 at 7:40 am

    lol! “naked tomato seedling”

    My yard has looked the same! I just planted my seeds last week for fear of all the snow. But here is the real experiment . . . I planted seeds . . . that have expired! They are one year old – so we will see if I get any naked seedlings at all!