Friday, August 13, 2010

"What the hell" gardening

There are lots of gardeners with impressive, even terrifying, depth of knowledge. There are gardeners who can build any structure needed for any type of plant, and ones who know exactly how to build soil or which treatment to use for a sick plant, based on a glance. There are gardeners who not only know the names of, but plant dozens if not hundreds of tomato varieties, and also can tell you what they taste like, and whether they are "slicing" or "paste" tomatoes. (There's a difference? I think I've been doing it wrong.)

There are gardeners who know what to do with tomatillos.

I confess when I started getting active online I was extremely intimidated by gardeners who knew the difference between tagetes and calendula, which I always just called "marigold," (I sound like I have clue, yes? Don't be fooled). They have the scientific names for dozens of plants at the tips of their tongues, and always know which named variety of lily, or iris, was growing in their own backyards, not to mention yours.

And then there are the "what the hell" gardeners:
  • The rabbits ate most of the climbing beans' stalks, and all the leaves, but they don't look so bad, so what the hell, I'll leave them.
  • Damn, a squirrel took a bite out of that tomato, but it doesn't look so bad. What the hell, I'll pick it and just cut off the nommed bits.
  • Whoah! Winter melon will climb up a bean trellis, who knew? What the hell, I'll just add some supports for it and see what happens.
  • The potted peppers don't look so good. What the hell, I'll throw in some bean seeds; beans fix nitrogen, (or something) right? That should help.
  • Hey- there are turnips coming up from last year. What the hell, let's see what happens if I just let them go to seed.
  • Are Vermont cranberry beans dry beans or shell beans? What the hell, let's pick some and see how they taste.
  • I think those are aphids at the top of the 12-foot-tall corn, where I can't reach. What the hell, let's try power spraying them off.

So what the hell have you done in your garden that you were clueless about, but, well, what the hell...


  1. The very poisonous Ageratina altissima planted itself in my flower garden? What the hell, it looks better than most of my intentional plants.

  2. I am definitely a "what the hell" gardener. 1. There's the Artemesia that's run rampant throughout all of my gardens. I should've listened to Mom when she said "It can get away from you."
    2. The chickens I let run through my gardens - what the hell, they're fertilizing the stuff, right?
    3. All those wild berries I pick. Yeah, so I get a few chiggers and ticks. That's what showers were made for!
    4. "Oh, you're giving away that plant? What the hell, I'll take it even though it's never bloomed for you since you purchased it ten years ago."
    5. "Sure Mom, I'll take a twentieth holly bush cutting. You can never have enough hollies, right?"

    Yeah, definitely a "What the hell" gardener!

  3. Even though I know some stuff I'm still a what the hell gardener. Because I like laissez faire techniques and I like to swear, lol.

  4. I planted a tropical plant and expected it to return the next year. lulz.