Grow, damnit!

The title for today's blog was from a sign in my great Uncle Paul's garden. While Uncle Paul is long gone, those words live on since every time I think of planting a garden I'm reminded of them.

As I continue to work on the living room renovation, this weekend I took some time out with my 3 1/2 year old daughter to plant a garden. For years I've wanted to grow tomatoes and peppers for my wife's homemade salsa but never did. Since my daughter has asked to plant one for a couple of months, I told her we could as long as she would help. I let her know there was a lot of work involved in planting a garden, but she was eager to help. I thought it would be a great educational opportunity for her but quickly realized this applied to me as well.

Last week I was on the road all week, so Friday night she and I had some daddy/daughter time at the park and then went to Home Depot for Sugar Baby watermelon, Cayenne pepper, and Lemon Queen sunflower seeds. Then it was off to Pike Nursery to get JalapeƱo pepper and Big Boy tomato starter plants. Saturday morning we got our tools together and loaded some compost into the wheel barrow to dump it on the site we'd chosen for our garden.

It was during this process that I learned what my wife already knew. "Daddy, can we plant a garden?" really means, "Daddy, can I watch you do all of the work to prepare the garden so that I can do the fun stuff like plant seeds, transplant the starter plants, and spray the water hose?" She was a good sport, and I was able to cajole and bribe her into helping me with most of the work, especially picking up acorns and rocks from our future garden. I was able to get my rototiller working, which saved us a lot of time in preparing the soil. By Sunday afternoon, everything was in the ground. We should start harvesting peppers and tomatoes around the second week of July.