I would like to begin this month’s blog with a disclaimer to any Master Gardeners. This is a blog about learning from someone else’s mistakes and basically “what NOT to do”. We have all heard the saying “go big OR go home”, right? I unfortunately live by the saying “Go BIG for a while, THEN go home”. Speaking as a native Texan and having been raised believing “Everything’s bigger in Texas” I sometimes can be overly optimistic in my gardening abilities and time management. When it comes to gardening I tend to burn out during the “Prep” phase and often times never make it to the “relish in the fruit of my labor phase”. I start out strong and “use up” all my time and resources in the beginning instead of being realistic. You know the saying about your eyes being bigger than your plate? Well that applies to gardening too. I have a problem with volume. I overestimate how much to plant and sacrifice quality for quantity. Another problem I have is simply getting a case of the “I don’t want to”. For instance, I head out to weed the garden and I can’t see the plants for the weeds. A feeling of being overwhelmed sets in and then the “I don’t want to” does too. I guess what I am trying to say is be realistic in all things gardening. If you have to, start small.
I’ll close this blog with a garden story “gone awry” (Is that a pun? If not it should be). Anyway, a few years ago I got the bright idea to make my own cow manure compost. It really was a good idea because I had the perfect spot to “harvest” the manure. I had been feeding my cows in the same spot for several years and had accumulated the richest looking soil on the place. So, I got my tractor and spent the next week or so scraping and piling and then scraping and piling some more. I built 3 mini mountains of cow manure. And then….it rained. And then…. I lost interest. Every Spring I look out across the pasture and see the new calves engaged in a game of King of the Mountain on the prettiest green hills in Northern Smith County.