a newspaper man adjusts his pen

Thursday, May 28, 2009

An editor digs a deck garden

By Liz Rogers, Managing Editor
Observer-Reporter and TWAB Guest Blogger

By the time you read this, I am hopeful that my deck garden will be flourishing. Or at least still living.

Unlike the Observer-Reporter's gardening columnist, Christie Campbell, I am not adept at sustaining plant life. While she attempts to cultivate a butterfly garden this summer, I will be babying a couple of tomato and pepper plants, in the hope that I can enjoy their bounty in a couple of summer salads.

Nearly every plant I have attempted to grow has either withered and died or succumbed to the nibbly nature of my perpetually hungry house cat.

Nonetheless, with the growing season upon us, I decided to try again. Rather than battling the rabbits that have made their home in the wooded area at the southern border of our backyard, I opted to try gardening in containers on the deck. Before going to the garden center for plants, I spent a little time researching my plan.

A cooperative extension service Web site assured me that, indeed, a patio, balcony or even doorstep provides sufficient space for a productive mini-garden. And, problems with soil-borne diseases, nematodes or poor soil conditions are easily remedied by switching to a container garden.

Already in possession of suitable pots, I consulted the list, noted the appropriate varieties and went shopping. As I selected a half-dozen healthy tomato plants and a couple of pepper plants, potting soil and fertilizer, my mouth watered at the vision of fresh produce dangling from green vines.

With renewed resolve, I drove home and began planting. Each morning, I check my crops, and each evening, I water them. The routine has been worked into my daily exercise regimen: Each of the three or four trips from the garage faucet up the 14 stairs to my deck garden – five-gallon watering can in tow – must be burning calories, right?

It’s been only a few weeks, but so far, so good. The plants are still green and growing. And even if my plants yield few or no veggies, at least I should be in better shape from hauling around that watering can.

Enjoy your own outdoor pursuits this summer.

(This story originally appeared in Living in Washington County, a publication of the Observer-Reporter. It was reprinted with permission. Photo was originally uploaded by Seth Dillingham)

1 comment:

Scott Beveridge said...

That is a beautiful photo