Tonawanda News

Lifestyle

May 21, 2012

Clueless and late to the garden party

Tonawanda News — The more I get into this whole gardening thing, the more I realize how much I don’t know.

It started not long after I finished my first “Clueless Gardener” column, when I walked into a store with the idea of making some gardening purchases. Seeds, I thought. Maybe some plants to transplant. But mainly, seeds. That’s kind of the point of a garden, right?

Surveying the array of seed packets before me in all their multicolored possibility, I chose a package of tomato seeds, read the back ... and discovered that I should have sown them indoors and let them grow to seedlings ... two months ago.

Oops.

I had no idea. To me, garden equals spring. As in, I didn’t need to worry about it at all until after the frost risk was done. (And we all know how late that can be in Western New York.) I was familiar with the dangers of frost, so I figured I was golden right into May.

Instead, I was already painfully behind.

I looked at more and more seed packets, quickly realizing how many things just wouldn’t work already. I should have started them months ago. While I know it’s not entirely true, it seemed like the only thing I encountered that could possibly be directly sown at this point was basil ... and I’d already ordered a basil plant from my son’s preschool, marking it for transplantation to the garden.

Confounded, I abandoned the seed packets, bought a pair of garden gloves, some gardening tools (including a small trowel for my sons to use) and a pair of small stakes labeled “Grow Already!” and “Dirt Won’t Hurt!” — and retreated to figure out what to do next.

If ignorance was bliss, I was in heaven.

But I hate feeling ignorant. Hate it. And I was mortified by it. For a few minutes, standing there, I just wanted to give up. This is what grocery stores are for, right?

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