Garden Envy

For some reason (I suspect bad karma from letting too many tomatoes go bad in the fridge last summer), my winter garden has not…well, it hasn’t anything. It looks like a few scrawny seedlings propped up in the ground, even though I sowed the seeds in November. After talking with a few other gardener friends (amateur and seasoned alike), I still have no clue what I did wrong, although I suspect I planted those seeds too late. It was hard to decide, though! Even October felt like summer on some days, and the seed packets were very clear: plant seeds when the soil is no longer warm.

Which takes me to a tangential rant, because sometimes those instructions say, “Plant 3 to 4 weeks before last frost…” What am I, a fortune teller? Should I dig up my old Magic 8 Ball? I don’t know when the last frost will be.  I live in central California – maybe our last frost was five weeks ago! Should I have been planting these suckers in December? (I just used this online Magic 8 Ball and asked it, “When is the last frost?” and it said, “Most likely.” Enough said. Really.)

But back to my main story: my lettuces wouldn’t even feed a slug, they’re so pathetically small. When I planted them, I was ever so careful to use the seed starter soil, then place the seeds an exact eighth of an inch from the surface, covering them lightly, after which I gently sprayed them with water from a spray bottle. Thinking Z would enjoy getting in on a little gardening action, I told her a large pot was hers to use. I gave her some seeds, told her to go to town. Okay, fine, I hovered, made sure she didn’t put them all in one spot, and I controlled the watering lest she water only herself (and this in November, when it was cold. Cold-ish).

I think this pictorial comparison really says it all, and I could have dispensed with the longwinded commentary and given you this:

Z’s lettuces on left…my pitiful lettuces on the right. You might need to magnify this picture to actually see mine.


  1. Dana · February 23, 2011

    Hahahaha, looks like she’s got a green thumb!

    I’m looking forward to Greg and Adam’s new giant backyard! They’re going to have a veggie garden that I’m already planning on taking over.

    • Beth Hull · February 23, 2011

      Do you mean you’re going to take over the gardening of it, or the harvesting? 🙂 Or be totally shameless and just steal the harvested veggies?

  2. Vicki · March 6, 2011

    Oh my…this only encourages me further to put off doing a winter garden for at least a few more years!! Love that Z got her own pot to play with, though – good idea – even if she does win the gardening award this winter!

    • Beth Hull · March 6, 2011

      I’ll try again next year! I’ll just plant a little earlier. Last year my lettuces were amazing. And nothing (except chocolate cake, ice cream, and doughnuts) tastes better than fresh lettuce.

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