Me: Why on earth would we plant 30 tomato plants?
Doug: Because we can. (Silent “Duh.”)
I live with my boyfriend, Doug, in the 1950s house he’s owned for several years. It sits on a very narrow, very long lot that is about 1/3 of an acre. The backyard is fantastic — stay tuned for landscaping pictures and projects all summer long — and is surrounded by mature trees, an artesian spring, and a creek. (Ok, it’s not really as glamorous as a creek, per se, but the point is we have running water and it gives me lots of options.)
One day last spring I mentioned that I wanted to plant a few tomatoes and a sprig of basil. I could not have foreseen the result of such a simple suggestion. Soonafter, Doug waged war on the terribly overgrown back 1/3 of the yard. He tilled. He imported manure by the truckloads. He created rows for crops. In his words, he got “nutty.” The final product? A garden 50 feet wide by 50 feet long.
The Garden was so big that family members started claiming space and donating plants.
“Squash? But, Doug, we don’t even like squash.”
The final product was nothing short of a spectacle. Here is a diagram of the garden, hereafter referred to as the “Behemoth of 2009.”
Corn is off the photo on the left, but didn’t take root anyhow. Here is a closeup:
We had approximately 30 tomato plants, which were so populous that we couldn’t keep the fruit from rotting before we got to them. They were also very difficult to reach since the aforementioned squash weaved its evil tentacles in and out of their stems.
Me: How far apart should I put these squash seeds?
Doug: Oh, well, they probably won’t grow anyway. Just put them all in.
But we’ve learned from the trials and tribulations of last summer and are ready to hit the ground running this year. Doug’s been fine tuning the water pump (more info on that improvement later) and has our peas in the ground. If it weren’t for the horrible weather, we’d have a whole slew of other veggies planted, too. My only request is that we plant a fair ratio of plants-we-eat to plants-we-don’t-eat. On our first stop, we’d already amassed a healthy stock:
Armed with the history of the Behemoth of 2009, you’re now ready for the invaluable lessons we learned. I’ll share them while we execute the Garden of 2010 in my upcoming posts. Plan also on me begging for help on the lessons we have not yet learned.
Anyone with a similar disdain for squash plants? Anyone else with a partner that has an unhealthy affliction for “going big”?