I’ve been gardening for a little over a month, and I feel surprised at the benefits. I started running again. It’s a two mile round trip from my house to the gardens, and it’s my reason for getting out in the morning. The way there is rough. I’m in the part of town that has a sidewalk but feels more dangerous with the path being on a busy street. In a way, the difficulty has steeled my resolve to run. I run because of the hammering clank of the cars whizzing by who always seem to startle me when they ride over the raised manhole cover, in that place that seems like it would be so still.
When I get to the gardens, I stand outside for twenty minutes or so, striding back and forth over each garden with a hose. So far, I have not seen many predators, other than a single Japanese beetle and a slug that got stuck on my shoe. To mitigate the slugs, I have heard that saucers of beer help. If the beetles persist, I will need to read up on tips. One of the gardeners in my club said he had a moth last year who laid eggs in his zucchini. The moth babies embedded themselves inside the zucchini and ate their way out. I am not so sure how to mitigate the moths. I have seen one so far, but I am not sure if it is a zombie zucchini kind.
Beyond the army of insects, it is the work I have yet to complete that remains the obstacle to success. I still have seedlings in grow racks that are living in these tiny plastic containers. There is a neon pink lamp that feeds them, along with daily watering, and it reminds me that I still need to coordinate the garden build for raised bed number four. There’s watermelon, cantaloupe, zucchini, red onion, carrot, and beans left to be planted, and it feels inhumane keeping them cooped up. A family member has generously donated funds to build the next garden structure, and I plan to have it completed sometime in July.