Glutton for punishment

As a glutton for punishment, even though my summer garden was/is far from successful, I am still very much looking forward to August 1st, when, according to a Maricopa County planting calendar put out by the University of Arizona, it’s the right time to start putting up (as my Midwest family calls it) green onion and carrot seeds.*  I have them purchased — Seeds of Change this time.  Heirloom and organic, but not native.

Parade Bunching Onion

I’m hoping that amending my soil MORE will help.  I’m continuing to make compost.  I have another batch about ready to mix into the garden with my fall planting.  I think I will also add more sand and some gypsum, though it seems like the jury is still out on whether or not gypsum is really of benefit to clay soil.  AND I will follow the garden calendar.  I’m not really sorry I didn’t follow it (or anything like it) when I did the initial planting;  I just needed to DO IT, to get myself started…  Sometimes one learns best from poor decisions, right?  😀

Dragon carrot

Seriously, this garden has been a real test of character for me.  It has become a daily effort to persevere even though the fun and most of the hope is gone for this summer’s crop.  “Keep weeding, keep learning, stay attentive, don’t give up just because it wasn’t an instant success,” I have to encourage myself.  I’m trying to take a longer view — which is also difficult for me — and place my hopes on future crops which will benefit from this summer’s failures.  ~sigh~

But, like I said…  I must be a glutton for punishment because hope — while not quite as abundant as it was fourish months ago — springs eternal, and I really am looking forward to better success next time.

In semi-related news, my love for butterflies and a homeschooling opportunity came into direct opposition to my gardening efforts this weekend.  In my Amazon cart, unpurchased, is a “butterfly garden“, which is really a pop-up mesh-sided habitat for butterflies.  I was rather excited to see a money-saving, real-life large green caterpillar on one of my tomatillo plants.  (Here in the desert, we rarely see caterpillars!)  I called out all the kids, and we watched the guy munching his way along…  I was much less excited when one caterpillar had turned into two, and together, they had absolutely decimated one plant and were well on their way to demolishing a second.  My husband pulled them off for me last night, and against his wishes to dump them in the trash, he deposited them, at my pleading, into a bush in the front yard.  In the meantime, I went to pick up our son Grant, who had spent the afternoon at a friend’s house.  As I briefly described Caterpillar-Gate to her, she went to the cupboard and pulled out a butterfly garden!  I happily took it home.  Though the two caterpillars were “gone”, I was pretty confident that more may show up.  Sure enough, there was another chubby green muncher on my largest tomatillo plant this morning.  I collected five different kinds of leaves from around the yard and plunked them and the caterpillar inside.  We’ll see if he weathers the change.


*This is a really long run-on sentence, isn’t it?



About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 11, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I very casually lead a very large group of homeschooling families in the Phoenix area. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on July 25, 2011, in Arizona, Desert Gardening, Homeschooling, Life in the Desert, Summer Plans. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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