Green thumbs are something I aspire too. I was so excited about the aquaponics idea because I thought, “Here’s a garden that I can’t drown! or under water! or fertilize wrong!” Ah, but those stupid rocks, thwarting me at every turn [shakes fist]. Gardening in Las Vegas is possible. I’ve semi done it before (a wilderness of cherry tomato plants and a few watermelons that got lost in their own foliage). The thing is…not only am I a planner and a “we’ve made the decision, why are we not doing it right now?!” type person (which makes me think I can just stay on top of it without a schedule), I over-think and over-worry. That translates into drowned plants because they wilted in the late afternoon and I watered them…again. Or bugs starting and so I sprayed the snot out of them with bug killer (before I cared about organic hippie-ness). Or if a little bit of fertilizer is good then a lot must be fantastic!
I’m also kind of cheap. Even knowing the importance of “good dirt,” I’ve never been willing to pay for enough to get a garden off to a good start. So it’s a bit of good stuff in a whole mess of bad. “But you can amend and improve” the master gardeners are telling me! Yes but I have kids and I’m impatient and think I can just make it work. “I read a book on it, I got this,” I yell back!
Writing this post is a humbler, meeker novice gardener. I’m using my spring garden to experiment and the real work will be done in the fall. However. Little does my garden know that I have a secret weapon. The second part of my circle of life! The Earthworms!
Cherry tomatoes don’t scare me. Big ones do, but these little guys I can handle. So they are my control experiment. Only good quality dirt, a watering system that doesn’t depend on me, and a location that is sheltered but with enough sun. My high tech watering system is the water bottle. There is a small hole in the bottom, right about root level, so when I fill the bottle it slowly drips right onto the roots. It’s a red- neck drip system but I’m ok with that. It works with the 5 gallon
bucket grow box.
This is the rest of the garden. The two white “grow beds” were left over from the aquaponics system. They desperately need some support but, meh, they’ll work for now. The middle, nice looking grow bed is going to give me grief. Stupidly I ignored the voice in my head telling me to put weed cloth down because we have Bermuda back there. Stupidly I mixed a lot of the dirt that was back there (mostly dried-out marginally composted horse manure) with decent dirt but no other amendments. Stupidly I didn’t address the red ant colony that the box was placed on. Everything I planted in it has now died (minus the lone zucchini that could). In my defense we have had some wicked wind storms that haven’t helped anything. Mostly I was in a hurry and stupid. In the fall I will rectify the stupidity and start over. My goal is a killer herb patch in this box for the rabbits.
On the happy side, despite my best efforts to kill them, a pumpkin seed sprouted this morning and my watermelons and cantaloupes are all doing well.
So that completes our Circle of Life. The rabbit poop feeds the worms. The worm poop feeds the plants. The plants feed us and the rabbits. The rabbits feed us. The human poop goes to the city sewer system and all is as it should be. I’ll let you know if it all works out accordingly to plan. I’ve realized that being naïve, optimistic, and impatient doesn’t work so well for gardeners. One or the others you can work with but not all three. Alas for me. But there’s always the fall right?