Getting serious about gardening in the countryside

IIt was a mistake, of course, to go to that gardening workshop.

I’ve always known that God has a hell of a sense of humor, as he delights in giving me tasks that involve a lot of sweat and swearing.

Apparently the Texas Agricultural Extension Service has a connection with God because the workshop involved my wife taking lots of notes and a long to-do list for me.

The first half of the workshop focused on preparing for planting and deciding which varieties to choose.

This included, much to my chagrin, dumping all the dirt from our garden into containers to aerate the soil.

We have a bunch of tall tree pots with a few tires that make up The Place’s veggie branch.

Bill Cockeril

After dumping and raking the soil well, I soon discovered (or was told) that we needed a lot more soil to bring the pots up to the standard height required.

Those bags of gardening soil can get quite heavy, so it was lucky the old wheelbarrow was still working enough to help support the load.

Then, as instructed by experts at the Texas Agricultural Extension Service, God Has Spoken, I loaded the truck bed with fertilizer and bags of mulch.

That was before we even bought the first plant for our so-called ornamental garden.

The second half of the workshop dealt with the many pests and diseases that can afflict plants and gardeners.

That was enough to make me yearn for those HEB commercials where a smiling farmer touts his produce in virgin fields without even breaking a sweat.

This may have come from when I was a kid in Kentucky responsible for weeding and watering a 2 acre garden we shared with a neighbor.

My sisters were useless, of course, except when they joined me in singing chain gang songs expressing our displeasure with hot and dirty chores.

But the dire predictions and slides of countless pests and diseases weren’t enough to dull the enthusiasm of my wife and fellow bumper harvesters.

Due to all the prep work, we were a little behind in planting and were relying on seedlings for most of the garden. Except for the green beans, which we seeded and are some of my least favorite vegetables.

We planted lots of what I love including tomatoes, squash, green peppers, onions and cucumbers. Jalapenos and okra await warmer temperatures.

Now all we have to worry about is whether our rain tank will run out of factory gas due to hot and dry weather conditions.

In the meantime, my wife has stocked up on a multitude of flowering plants that produce nothing but pleasant flowers and aromas.

We will just have to wait and see if God and the Texas Agricultural Extension Service can allow us to reap what we have sown.

If nothing else, my wife and I can reminisce about what could have been in the garden adventure of 2022. And swear never to go to another gardening workshop.

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