I am Better at Growing Humans than Vegetables

I am a consummate city girl. I grew up in an urban setting where I’d run into prostitutes on the way to Dairy Queen. One morning getting in the bus to school, someone yelled for me not to sit down. It turns out a drunk guy pissed on the seat I was about to sit on. You get the picture.

So when we moved our family to the suburbs, it was the first chance I had to try gardening. Historically I have not had success keeping things alive. Plants, sea monkeys, fish, frogs, hedgehogs, hamsters, turtles… Yeah I’m not proud. But hey! I formed and keep alive 3 human beings, so my adult self should surely be able to manage a little food garden. So I bought some seeds and seedlings (from Walmart no less) and shoved them in the ground with my hopes and dreams.

My baby girl watering the seedlings. You can see the strawberry seedlings and the tiny lettuce sprouts.

It is the boys’ job to water, which they do diligently almost every night. Every morning we would peer between the leaves to see the progress and if any vegetables or berries were actually growing.

As it so happens, the only plant that truly grew was the pumpkin. My middle child chose it as a last minute add to our group of seedlings (they were 3 for 10 bucks and we needed to choose a third) and when we planted it, it promptly turned brown. My husband threw some fertilizer on the garden and in a matter of weeks it took over our little yard. We started seeing tiny baby pumpkins, but they would wither and die and I couldn’t figure out why. With the help of Google, I discovered that the baby pumpkins were female flowers. That meant I had to mate it with a male flower to make the pumpkin grow. City girl me had no idea that flowers did the nasty. I guess gardeners call it pollination and bees usually do it, but in the absence of enough bees, you can just be matchmaker yourself and let the flowers get their groove on.

Now a few weeks later I have 3 pumpkins on the vine, one for each child, but my strawberries look sad and my tomatoes are still green.

Hopefully the pumpkins will continue to survive until Halloween and save me from our annual mud slog at the pumpkin patch.

My second born watering the garden. The pumpkins are already as big as his head!

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