I’ve decided that gardening is like any other addiction. No really. Hear me out.
It begins innocently enough. Maybe you heard a friend talking about their garden and decided to give it a try or maybe someone shared a few of their plants with you. Sounds harmless right? It’s starts off as a little bit of fun, the plants were ‘gifted’ to you so it’s not costing you anything and hey , it’s not hurting anyone right?
Maybe you manage to keep your garden under control at first, but as the seasons roll on you start making plans for a bigger and better garden. After all a few little plants just isn’t going to cut it. You’re experienced and can handle more. Slowly you garden grows from a few plants to that were gifts to now buying plants….and of course some fertilizer. That’s okay, you’re still having fun and you’ve got it all under control.
A few more seasons pass and slowly things are spinning out of your control. You started a compost pile, to get away from commercially prepared fertilizers. You are working more and more during the off seasons amending your soil and building better fences. The few plants in a container have exploded into a garden that rivals a full size football field. You spend entire paychecks on seeds, plants, seed and seedling pots, irrigation systems, trellis for support, row covers and of course, fencing. Conversations with friends are now dominated by talk of non-GMO versus organic and that’s when you chose to talk to people at all. More and more often you avoid social situations, because you find you would rather spend time alone in your garden then making meaningless small talk. But all in all you are still enjoying the gardening life and just aren’t willing to admit that you might have a small, tiny problem. That is, until late July, early August.
It has now become an unavoidable reality….the garden is ruling your life. Store bought vegetables and fruits just don’t taste as good as the real deal. Now you must keep expanding your garden to grow enough quality food. You have no life outside of the garden. You’re every waking moment is filled with thoughts of weeding, staking plants, battling rabbits, slugs and other predators. You no longer have any clothes that aren’t covered in dirt and manure stains and your fingers have a constant black, dirt line etched under the nail beds. You are exhausted from the never-ending battle of watering, weeds, pests, harvesting ripe produce and processing it for the freezer, dehydrator or canner and you dream of cool weather and a reprieve from this Hell you brought into your life.
As fall finally approaches and you can finally breath and you tell yourself you won’t get yourself into this mess again. You are swearing off gardening altogether. It’s just not worth it and you are sure you can just walk away from the gardening world……until spring rolls around. The seed and plant catalogs start showing up in your mailbox. Friends start talking about what they are planting. The air smells sweet and that itch to bury your hands in the dirt starts again. It begins with that little lie, the one you tell yourself about being in total control. You can just have a ‘few plants’ that’s all . No big deal………