Friday, March 18, 2011

Confessions of a Zucchini Killer

McGee & Stuckey's Bountiful Container: Create Container Gardens of Vegetables, Herbs, Fruits, and Edible FlowersThe weather is absolutely perfect today, even better than it was yesterday. I have all the windows open and I'm listening to robins serenading their mates. The flowering cherry in the front yard should explode into white fluff sometime tomorrow, and the daffodils and tulips should be peeking out of their sepals just as quickly.

As has been noted by better poets than I, spring is truly a wonderful time of year. Charles Dudley Warner's words perfectly fit my attitude toward spring. "Hoe while it is spring, and enjoy the best anticipations. It is not much matter if things do not turn out well."

Carrots Love Tomatoes: Secrets of Companion Planting for Successful GardeningWhich is why I can plant a garden every year with great anticipation, even though I know it will probably fail. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, you see here in this corner the world's worst gardener! Possessor of the most potent herbicidal thumb known to humanity! Killer of zucchini for years beyond reckoning!

Do you know that there isn't very much advice out there on how to grown zucchini? Because, y'know, it's so freaking EASY. If you're trying to find out why your zucchini plants refuse to grow and only produce a handful of blossoms you're out of luck. Instead you find advice like this:

Zucchini is easy to grow and it is extremely prolific.

Plant a couple of seeds and you will have zucchini coming out of your ears.

There's a reason that the cliche of a gardener leaving bushels of zucchini on the doorsteps of unsuspecting neighbors is so prevalent. 

Speaking of which, no-one ever leaves bushels of zucchini on my doorstep. Have I failed to make it clear to my neighbors how much I adore zucchini?

Lasagna Gardening: A New Layering System for Bountiful Gardens: No Digging, No Tilling, No Weeding, No Kidding!Needless to say, I haven't been reading much fiction lately. I've been admiring the weather, poring over my garden books, and plotting out just where in my vegetable garden I'm going to fail to grow zucchini again.

Some of my favorite gardening books (none of which have much advice for hapless zucchini murderers):

McGee & Stuckey's Bountiful Container by Rose Marie Nichols McGee and Maggie Stuckey - Love, love, love this book. What limited gardening success I have is mainly attributable to these wonderful women. I bought it when we were renting. Several free pots later (courtesy of Freecycle) and I was happily trying to grow tomatoes and peppers. I highly recommend it.

Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew - Another excellent resource. One that I turn to every year when figuring out where to plant what - and my favorite book for garden fantasizing in the middle of winter. My copy is the original; I haven't checked out the All New Square Foot Gardening yet, but I assume it is just as good. (And with a pretty cover!)

All New Square Foot Gardening: Grow More in Less Space!Carrots Love Tomatoes: Secrets of Companion Planting by Louise Riotte - This is a wishlist item. My parents had this when I was a kid. I need to get my own copy. I'm getting tired of looking this information up online all the time. I need another book to drool over in the winter, anyway!

Lasagna Gardening: A New Layering System for Bountiful Gardens by Patricia Lanza - One more for the wishlist! Because I really do love the idea of never double-digging again.


Carin S. said...

I am also EXCELLENT at killing all sorts of things. The more a plant is sold as "hard to kill", the easier time I've had killing it. A book I loved was The $64 Tomato by William Alexander. You might check it out!

Jennifer said...

The title alone is enough to make me want to read it! And the description sounds hilarious. I'll have to add that to my TBR pile.


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